Union College Magazine Spring 2016

Page 1



A Magazine for Alumni and Friends

Lyme Disease: An interdisciplinary problem | 13

Discovering Cuba | 22

From the 4th annual Art Installation Series produced by the Mandeville Gallery, on display in the Schaffer Library 1st Floor Learning Commons from April 2016–March 2017. Created by Kira Nam Greene, "By the Patterns," site specific installation, mixed media (acrylic, stencils, wallpaper), 2016. Photo by Frank Rapant


COLLEGE A Magazine for Alumni and Friends

SPRING 2016 Volume 110 • Number 3


Blacklegged ticks like Ixodes pacificus (shown), and Ixodes scapularis, can infect humans with bacteria that cause Lyme disease. (Courtesy of CDC/ James Gathany, William L. Nicholson, Ph.D.) VICE PRESIDENT FOR COLLEGE RELATIONS


Gail Glover EDITOR

Charlie Casey caseyc@union.edu ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Erin DeMuth Judd demuthje@union.edu CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Christen Gowan Tina Lincer Phillip Wajda CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Matt Milless Timothy Raab Gary Gold DESIGN

2k Design PRINTING

Fort Orange Press UNIONCOLLEGE is published three times a year by the Union College Office of Communications, Schenectady, N.Y. 12308. The telephone is (518) 388-6131. Non-profit flat rate postage is paid at Schenectady, N.Y., and an additional mailing office. Postmaster: Send address changes to Office of Communications, Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. 12308-3169. Alumni who want to inform the College about changes of address should contact the Alumni Office at (518) 388-6168 or via e-mail at alumni@union.edu. The same phone number and e-mail address should be used to correspond about ReUnion, Homecoming, alumni club events, and other activities.

13 Lyme disease: An interdisciplinary problem Understanding, treating and containing infectious disease requires more interdisciplinary mind-power and collaboration across fields, institutions and borders than most other big issues facing humanity today. Think Ebola, or more locally in the Northeastern United States, there’s the non-lethal (but still quite serious) Lyme disease.

Departments 2

President’s Message

3 Letters 4

Across Campus

28 focUs 30 Bookshelf 32 Alumni Clubs

22 Discovering Cuba In the inaugural Cuba mini-term, students find rich culture, history and politics in an emerging island nation.

64 Flyers fan fave In Philadelphia, where Shayne Gostisbehere '15 led Union to a national hockey championship, 'Ghost' has become a force in the NHL

34 The Classes and Profiles 55 Arrivals 56 Unions 58 In Memoriam

» Visit us online at www.union.edu/magazine

dean’s message

Reflecting our educational values THERESE A. MCCART Y,

The Stephen J. and Diane K. Ciesinski Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs


his winter, I had the pleasure of working with Susan Mullaney Maycock ’72 on the selection of the fourth Nichols Fellow from Union’s faculty, under the auspices of the Byron A. Nichols Fellowship for Faculty Development. It has occurred to me that the Nichols Fellowship is a microcosm of Union—of how our campus community works to create an environment and curriculum that students need. Our educational mission to “educate students to be engaged, innovative, and ethical contributors to an increasingly diverse, global, and technologically complex world” requires that the entire Union community—alumni, faculty, and staff—mirror these educational values. Here’s how the Nichols Fellowship, one example of many important campus projects, looks in this light: The Nichols Fellowship was established in 2005 by Susan Maycock and her husband, Alan. It has been supported by a group of dedicated alumni out of gratitude for the educational experience they had in Professor Emeritus of Political Science Byron Nichols’ classroom during his 40-year career at Union, from 1968-2008. As Susan puts it, “Byron taught students how to think by making them think. He promoted and engaged in meaningful intellectual, social and personal interactions with students both in and out of the classroom, helping them to recognize and actualize their potential for growth in all aspects of their lives. His approach to the development of students was always rigorous, intellectual, humanistic and compassionate.” In other words, they created an innovative fellowship—I’ve not encountered another like it—that provokes engagement and supports ethical inquiry across subject matter that indeed will prepare students to be 21st-century contributors. If you build it will they come? The answer is a resounding “yes”—nine faculty members applied in

2 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

the most recent round of the Fellowship offering. And better yet, the nature of the courses developed is classically Union—inspiring students by example to explore the connectedness of interesting and important ideas. The first four faculty members to hold the Fellowship not only are from home departments that span the curriculum, but the courses they have developed with Fellowship support are deeply cross-disciplinary. Stephen Schmidt, professor of economics, developed a course, cross-listed with philosophy, called “Values, Norms, and Economic Justice.” Carol Weisse, professor of psychology, engaged students in designing “Humanism in Medicine.” Ashraf Ghaly, the Carl B. Jansen Professor of Engineering, developed “Environmental Forensics.” The next Fellowship recipient, Jillmarie Murphy from the English department, will be developing a course that examines material culture. It has been my privilege to serve the Union community for 11 years as the Stephen J. and Diane K. Ciesinski Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Nearly every day, I have had the opportunity to be a steward of Union, to carry that which is most special about Union forward in time. The Nichols Fellowship is one example of a project that reflects and supports a college community dedicated to an educational mission that is broad yet deep, historic yet innovative, personal and community-oriented yet global, and that integrates thought and action. As I return to the economics department next year (my 30th at the College), I’m looking forward to contributing to Union’s mission in other ways. After 11 years as chief academic officer, Therese A. McCarty, the Stephen J. and Diane K. Ciesinski Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, is returning to Union's economics faculty this summer.


Join us at the ballpark Summer’s almost here and with it comes America’s favorite pastime, so come on out to the ballpark. No games happening near you? Why not take a little summer trip, it’s the perfect excuse to visit with your Union family! Visit uconnect.union.edu for more information or to register. Game dates are also included in the Alumni Clubs listing on p. 32 of this issue.

Let us know Have you changed jobs, gotten promoted, had a baby, taken an amazing trip, retired or gotten married? Share your news with us through a class note. Photos 1 MB or larger are welcome too. The deadline for the fall magazine is July 1. PLEASE SHARE AT:

classnotes@union.edu Union College magazine 807 Union St. Schenectady, N.Y. 12308 (518) 388-6490



’ve reached the age when I look at the obituaries before the weddings or births and noted with sadness the obituary for J. Bruce Batchelder ’75 (Fall 2015). I don’t know what name the "J." stood for and I never heard anyone call him Bruce. To us he was simply Buffalo. Buffalo, not for the city, not with that heavy Boston accent of his, but because he was a big guy with a mane of wild red hair and a devilish smile to match. He loved to party and he loved the blues. We haven’t seen him since Union but when we reminisce and remember the good times, we remember our friend Buffalo. There will be no scholarships or buildings dedicated to him but he was one of those people you meet at Union who you remember for the rest of your life. “Such a long, long time to be gone and a short time to be there.” — Mark Maurer ’75



hank you for Ms. Judd’s review of the renovated Rathskeller. I would imagine that I would no longer recognize the place. I had midnight janitorial duties there from January 1973 through June 1976. Dirt, debris, spilled beer and soda, and the effluvia of college life cleaned; trash emptied; tables and chairs organized; and the air freshened—if only temporarily—with excess quantities of ammonia and industrial floor cleaners. (My olfactory senses have not been the same since.) The Rathskeller provided me with quiet and time to think, the pleasures of returning home through the shuttered and recently snowed streets of Schenectady; a regular and fair quantity of found change for the pinball machines; the occasional pilfered snack; visits from dark souls looking for late camaraderie or an excuse not to be somewhere else; income for groceries, bike tires and guitar strings; and ultimately an appreciation for those special physical spaces (and their care and feeding) that not only make social life possible but also make it interesting. May it continue to provide that special glue to the Union community.


absolutely love the piece on the ‘Skeller in the winter Union College issue, on several levels. I can recall Carter Davidson saying that the GI Bill veterans came to him, asking if they could have a place to drink beer on campus. He was surprised they seemed to prefer the dank basement of Old Chapel, which reminded them of places they had encountered in Europe. As a minor point, I was “president” of the ‘Skeller in the early 1960s, after being approached by Betty Wemple because as a veteran/returning student I was over 21, which would satisfy NYS liquor regulations. I contributed nothing, other than my superannuation. — Bill Allen ’59



att Milless has a winner in the new, glorious cover (Winter 2016). He caught a brief moment of vivid color silhouetting our iconic Nott Memorial, framed by a great old tree with its many spreading branches— another fitting symbol for Union, and a welcome change from showing us more campus buildings, fine though they are. — David C. Balderston ’55

— Craig Diamond ’76 Spring 2016 UNION COLLEGE

| 3

across campus

Founders Day a time to celebrate, reflect President Stephen C. Ainlay speaks at Founders Day


hen word arrived via a messenger on horseback that the state Board of Regents, at its meeting in New York City, had granted a charter to establish a college in Schenectady, Joseph Sweetman and other students at The Schenectady Academy erupted in celebration. It was February 1795, and the Academy, founded in part as a path to getting a college charter, was about to be transformed. “Had you been there, you would have witnessed a joyful night when the old Academy was metamorphosed into

Union College,” Sweetman recalled at an event celebrating the historic moment 50 years later. He, along with Cornelius D. Schermerhorn and John L. Zabriskie, were the only three members of Union’s first graduating class in 1797. On Feb. 25, the campus community gathered in Memorial Chapel to celebrate Founders Day and the 221st anniversary of the College’s charter, the first granted in New York State by the Regents. “Founders Day provides us with an opportunity to revisit Union’s history and important themes that flow from this College’s mission and from its


4 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

Six artists interpret the meaning of repetition in “Recurrence.”


For more detailed campus news, visit www.union.edu/news

institutional identity,” said President Stephen C. Ainlay. Before introducing the keynote speaker, Sherry Turkle, an expert on the psychology between people and technology, Ainlay cited the many accolades she has received for her timely book, “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age,” which was published last fall. “Could there be a more relevant topic to explore on Union’s Founders Day,” Ainlay asked. “I think not, considering the importance that our founders, the designers of our campus architecture and grounds, and subsequent

generations attached to being together, living as a learning community.” Borrowing themes examined in her critically acclaimed book, Turkle lamented the impact digital devices have had on faceto-face conversation, with people leery of getting out of their comfort zone of constant texting and emailing. As part of her research, Turkle, the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT, asked a young man what’s wrong with conversation. “What’s wrong with conversation?” the man replied. “I’ll tell you. It takes place in real time, and you can’t control what you are going to say.” Calling the reliance on digital devices an assault on empathy, Turkle said “we are at a moment when we know we are doing something that we know isn’t enhancing us.” Yet Turkle is hopeful. She isn’t asking people to give up their phones or focus on their addictions to their devices. Instead, she calls for using them mindfully. “Empathy is the place where conversation is born,” said Turkle, who is also the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.

The Mandeville Gallery exhibit features 22 works, from oil and watercolor paintings to collage, by Kira Nam Greene, Juan Hinojosa, Simone Meltesen, Karen Schiff, Sam Vernon and Rachael Wren. Left: Kira Nam Greene, Cool as a Cucumber in a Bowl of Hot Sauce, 2013, paper on panel, 36 x 30 inches

“We need to be teaching empathy by talking to each other. Face to face is the most human and humanizing thing that we do. Conversation is there to reclaim. Conversation is the talking cure.” Following her remarks, Turkle met with a group of faculty, staff and students for a discussion in the Nott Memorial. Also at Founders Day, Therese McCarty, the Stephen J. and Diane K. Ciesinski Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, presented Claire Bracken, associate professor of English, with the Stillman Prize for

Excellence in Teaching. The prize was created by David I. Stillman ’72, Abbott Stillman ’69 and Allan Stillman in honor of Abraham Stillman, father and grandfather. It is given annually to a faculty member to encourage outstanding teaching. McCarty also presented David Epstein, the band director at the Classical Magnet School in Hartford, Conn., with the Gideon Hawley Teacher Recognition Award. Named for the 1809 graduate of Union who was New York state’s first superintendent of public education, the award is given to second-

Sherry Turkle leads a discussion after her Founders Day address

ary school teachers who have had a continuing influence on the academic life of Union students. Epstein was nominated by Zachary Sayah ’18, a mechan-

ical engineering major. In his nominating letter, Sayah shared how Epstein helped cultivate his interest in music, particularly jazz.

Violinist Stefan Jackiw, accompanied by pianist Anna

Freeman Hrabowski III, a prominent leader in science and math

Polonsky, performs in the Chamber Concert Series.

education, is announced as keynote speaker at the College’s

He returns to Union after his stunning 2014 debut in

annual symposium on integrating a liberal education with

program of Brahms’ Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 100,

engineering. The two-day event in June will feature a number

Lutoslawski’s Partita, Saariaho’s Nocturne in memory

of presentations and workshops that explore pedagogical

of Lutosławski, and Franck’s Sonata in A Major.

approaches to teaching engineering in a liberal arts context.


| 5

across campus

Mass. Gov. to deliver 2016 Commencement address


assachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will be the featured speaker at Union’s 222nd Commencement. More than 550 students in the Class of 2016 will receive degrees during the ceremony, scheduled for 10 a.m. Sunday, June 12, on Hull Plaza. Baker will receive an honorary doctorate of laws degree. He is the father of Andrew (A.J.) Baker, a member of the graduating class. Elected in November 2014, Baker was inaugurated Jan. 8, 2015, as the commonwealth’s 72nd governor. A Republican, he previously served as a cabinet member in the administrations of Gov. William Weld and the late Gov. Paul Cellucci.

In 1994, he was appointed secretary of Administration and Finance, overseeing a number of cost-saving reforms, modernizing state government and making it more efficient. In 1998, the National Governors’ Association presented him with its Distinguished Service Award. From 1999 to 2009, Baker served as the chief executive officer of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, where he led the company out of receivership to become one of the top-ranked health plans in the nation. “We are honored to have Gov. Baker address our graduates,” said President Stephen C. Ainlay. “His record of public service and leadership in both the public and private

sector is inspiring. I’ve also gotten to know him as a Union parent, and I’m confident our next generation of leaders will be inspired by his message.” A graduate of Harvard College, Baker earned an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Baker is the latest governor to be the featured speaker at Commencement. Others have included Thomas Dewey (1950) and Charles Evans Hughes (1908) of New York and Earl Warren of California (1947). For more on Commencement, including a list of previous speakers, visit www.union.edu/ events/commencement

Co-gen plant paves way to carbon neutrality


ometime in June, Union College will hit the switch toward energy independence as the new co-generation plant goes on-line. Under construction since last fall, the highly efficient natural gas-fueled plant will provide about 75 percent of the College’s power and nearly all of its heating and cooling

while dramatically reducing Union’s Carbon footprint. The $12 million project, located west of Achilles Center near the boiler facility, is supported by a $2.4 million grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and a bond project that will be repaid through about $450,000 in

annual savings the new plant is expected to generate. Marc Donovan ’05, assistant director of facilities, who is overseeing construction notes that the project has gotten attention from a number of colleges and universities. Union’s co-gen project was cited in a recent National Geographic article as a leader

in the movement among colleges and universities to produce efficient, on-site, energy. Marc Donovan ’05, assistant director of facilities, stands next to a heat recovery steam generator in the College’s co-generation plant, set to go on-line in June.


The first group of Union students spend three weeks over winter break as Klemm Fellows. The program places students in a foreign country, where they stay with a host family and work for local organizations. Countries include Mexico, Ecuador, Morocco, Mongolia and Ghana. Roswald Morales ’16 was an English language assistant working with young students (Rabat, Morocco).

6 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

Meet Union’s new Title IX coordinator

Strom Thacker named dean


trom Thacker, a specialist in Latin American studies and former dean at Boston University, has been named the College’s next dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs. He serves as professor of international relations and political science at B.U.’s Pardee School of Global Studies. Previously, he served as associate dean of the faculty at B.U., where he was responsible for eight departments and 15 interdisciplinary centers involving 190 full-time faculty, 3,600 undergraduates and 800 graduate students. Before that, he directed the university’s Latin American studies program. Thacker has a distinguished record as a teacher and scholar.


He received the College of Arts and Sciences Award for Teaching Excellence at B.U. He has published two books—A Centripetal Theory of Democratic Governance (with John Gerring) and Big Business, the State, and Free Trade; Construction Coalitions in Mexico—and produced a number of articles, book chapters and conference presentations. He has held a number of prestigious visiting appointments. He holds a B.A. from Pomona College, where he developed what he calls “a deep and abiding affection for and lifelong passion for the liberal arts,” and master’s and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Thacker, who begins July 1, succeeds Therese McCarty, who has served as chief academic officer for 11 years.

Valley Center of Gravity 2016 IoT Hackathon. The team consists of Amanda Ervin, who runs the MakerWeb at Union, Arsal Habib ’16 and Htoo Wai Htet ’16. They’re joined by Gabrielle Kosoy, a biomedical researcher with the State Department of Health, and Pike Finn, a junior at Kingston High School.


Union takes home “Best Smart City Solution” at the Tech

elissa Kelley has joined the College as the first full-time Title IX coordinator. She will work to ensure the College is in compliance with Title IX, the landmark 1972 federal law that prohibits sex- or gender-based discrimination at institutions of higher education. This includes sexual misconduct, and in her role, Kelley will help coordinate new programs and initiatives to prevent sexual assault and harassment. She will also make sure Union complies with the Violence Against Women Act and the Clery Act, among other responsibilities. Previously, Kelly was a health educator at the University of Rochester, where she taught classes and organized student workshops on drugs and alcohol. She joins Union as the College has taken steps aimed at preventing sexual assault. In fall 2014, Union joined with nearly 200 colleges and universities to participate in a national public service campaign, “It’s On Us.” The College also teamed up with New York state officials in raising awareness of—and doing its part to take a stand against and prevent—sexual assault and domestic violence.

Last fall, a student-led Committee on Consent Education and Awareness hosted its second Sexual Assault Awareness Week with a series of events across campus. “Sexual and relationship violence is preventable, and my hope is that the students on campus will join me in educating each other about the expectations of our community,” Kelley said. “I also hope they will encourage one another to come forward about such violence so that those affected will get the help and support they need. No matter when such violence has occurred, I am here to support and listen.”

The Union College Jazz Ensemble’s winter concert features Max Caplan ’16 in a piano solo of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” The performance also features jazz and pop classics. The ensemble is directed by Tim Olsen, associate professor of music.


| 7

across campus

Students clinch host of prestigious awards



ealing fractures. Making technology affordable. Promoting entrepreneurship and community advocacy. Those are some of the initiatives being supported by prestigious awards to nine Union students. Fulbright Research Award to Theodor Di Pauli von Treuheim ’16: He will pursue research at University of Ulm in Germany relating to the pelvis, which has an irregular geometry that makes fracture fixation difficult during surgery. Work at Union has identified a novel plate design that promises to better contour the fracture and expedite healing. At the Orthopaedic Institute of Ulm, the Spine Research laboratory possesses a state of the art spine simulator, which von Treuheim will use to validate prior computational tests and the plate’s response to physiological loading. Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to Htoo Wai Htet ’16: His research, titled “Making Technological Empowerment Affordable,” will be carried out in Switzerland, United Kingdom, India, Indonesia and Japan. “My project is about exploring simple, innovative technologies that will empower people by making them accessible to users,” he said. “I hope that the experience will allow me to learn more not only about the development and marketing of innovative technologies, but also about myself as a person and how I can contribute to make an impact to the developing world through simple inexpensive technology.”

Davis Projects for Peace awards to Sharmeen Azher ’17 and Gianluca Avanzato ’18: They will undertake their project, “Writing Our Communities,” in Schenectady, N.Y., this summer. Here, they plan to hold a free three-week intensive writing program for high school students. Their “goal is to create stronger, more thoughtful writers who can advocate for their communities, as well as for themselves—personally and professionally.” The program is a pilot project for a year-round collaboration with the Schenectady Public Library, which has agreed to host the twice-weekly Writing Center. Azher and Avanzato plan to staff the center with Union professors and students, and hope alumni of their summer program will also act as peer mentors. University Innovation Fellow awards to Luke McCaffrey ’18, Lakhena Leang ’18, Arielle Singer ’18, Robert Barsamian ’17 and Vera Marsova ’18: The program empowers student leaders to increase campus engagement with entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, design thinking and venture creation. The group has spearheaded the creation of the Idea Lab in Schaffer Library and is working on a proposal for a new Minerva course on Innovation, Creativity and the Entrepreneurial Mindset. The fellows are also working with Wise Labs, a technology commercialization firm with an incubator in downtown Schenectady, to design entrepreneurial programming for the campus. This will include a boot camp for students who want to start their own business.

ME seniors move heaven and earth


tudents in Prof. Andy Rapoff’s mechanical engineering senior capstone faced a daunting challenge: move heaven and earth. Teams of students built six orreries, mechanical models of celestial systems. One team modelled the travels of Halley’s comet, another the orbit of Uranus. Hand cranks operate gears and belt drives to simulate orbit and rotation. (Union history buffs know that an orrery was among the first purchases by the College in 1795. That model, which inspired Rapoff and his students, is on display in the Wold Atrium.) The idea came to Rapoff last fall when he taught Space Flight Mechanics, a course in which students calculated orbital mechanics and space travel. With several of those students enrolled in the capstone class, Rapoff saw an opportunity. “I thought, ‘Why not capitalize on that whole space thing?’ I love space and I knew we had the orrery.” Not that Rapoff didn’t have reservations. “It’s a challenge every time we teach [senior capstone] to come up with a

Annual Becker Career Fair features

Chi Psi fraternity and others in the Union community help the Boys and Girls

representatives from 90 organizations,

Clubs of Schenectady secure a $20,000 grant from the Rite Aid Foundation.

many of whom are Union alumni, speaking

The clubs participated in the foundation’s “Big Hearts Give” Challenge from

with students about jobs, internships,

Oct. 1 to Jan. 31. To qualify for the maximum $20,000 grant, they need to sign

gap year opportunities, fellowships and

up at least 300 people for the Rite Aid Kid Cents Charity. Chi Psi provides major

graduate school programs.

assistance in the effort.

8 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

Great minds inspire dance event

F From left, ME seniors Molly Sperduti-Matesevac, Cody Bellair and Jenna DiFalco with their orrery showing the travel of Halley’s Comet.

Jonathan Pang and Kenneth Marshall with the orrery they built and designed with Stephen Boyd. It shows the orbit and rotation of Uranus.

project that students can complete in 10 weeks,” he said. Rapoff was confident that students could get the engineering done, less so that the results would have been so aesthetically pleasing. He

shouldn’t have worried. The models are striking works of art. Tasteful cases are adorned with laser etchings that depict the object and its orbit. “I am incredibly proud of these students,” he said.

aculty and student choreographers turned to some of the greatest minds of the 20th century— from Albert Einstein to Alfred Hitchcock to Virginia Woolf— for inspiration for this year’s Winter Dance Concert. “Minds of Interest” was performed at the Yulman Theater March 2-5. “Where we could find inspiration for an entire evening of dance pieces? What subject could we develop and stage? What can stimulate the imagination?” said Miryam Moutillet, dance program director. “These were questions I asked last summer as I began to think about our concert.” Unexpectedly, Moutillet found answers during an encounter with Rodin’s “The Thinker” at an exhibit at the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal. “I saw how the idea of ‘great minds’ had great possibilities,” she said. The concert featured 25 performers and showcased work by Moutillet as well as by Charles Batson, professor of French, and instructors Laurie Cawley and Marcus Rogers.

Choreographers Jillian Callanan ’16, Allison Minchoff ’16, Avery Novich ’16, Laura Schad ’16 and Megan Wells ’18 were inspired by individuals as diverse as Coco Chanel, Stephen Hawking and the Three Stooges. Costumes for the show were fashioned by Brittney Belz, and theatrical lighting was by Robert Bovard. Kewan Harrison ’16 created the film introduction. Guest musical director was Andy Iorio.

“On Location: Keene Valley and Lake George,” an exhibit of work by artist Anne Diggory, is on display in at the Kelly Adirondack Center. The exhibit features a collection of midsize and small drawings, paintings and hybrids culled from the more than 70 sketches and paintings Diggory created in Adirondack locations. Freshness of Morning


| 9

across campus

Cornel West: all lives ‘precious and priceless’

Loree: Let's talk tools Jim Loree ’80 returned to Union Feb. 3 to speak on his role as leader of Stanley Black and Decker, one of the world’s largest tool and storage companies. Loree graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. He was also inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and recently joined Union’s Board of Trustees. Stanley Black and Decker is the second largest commercial electronic security company and the worldleading provider of engineering fastening systems, with unique growth platforms in the oil and gas infrastructure industries. They employ more than 50,000 worldwide. As president and chief operating officer, Loree shares executive leadership with the company’s chairman, including responsibility for strategy development and execution as well as daily management of all company operations. He has been with the company since 1999.



oted civil rights activist, scholar and author Cornel West drew a capacity crowd to the Nott Memorial on March 3 for a talk that included a message about the value of all lives. Black kids killed on the south side of Chicago and white kids killed in a Connecticut school are equally “precious and priceless,” he said. In a talk titled “Social Justice: The U.S. and Beyond,” West outlined four questions from W.E.B. DuBois: How shall integrity face oppression? What shall honesty do in the face of deception? How shall accomplishment meet

10 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

To see additional pictures from his talk visit www.facebook. com/unioncollege/posts/10153175519156853 detraction and lies? What shall virtue do to meet brute force? A prominent and provocative democratic intellectual, West is a professor of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary. He is also professor emeritus at Princeton University, and has taught at Yale, Harvard and the University of Paris. He has written more than 20 books, including Race Matters, Democracy Matters and his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. West’s talk was sponsored by departments in the social sciences and the humanities, and the Office of Minerva Programs.

Published by The Adirondack Research Consortium and Union’s Kelly Adirondack Center, the latest volume (No. 20) of the Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies is now available. The avian-themed issue includes articles from leading scientists on topics relating to birds in the Adirondacks. Volume 21, coming later this year, will focus on the “Geology of the Adirondacks.”

Hello Barbie: Meet Union’s MakerWeb


hortly after Mattel released “Hello Barbie” in time for the last holiday shopping season, critics pounced, claiming the doll exposed a host of security and privacy concerns. An Internet of Things (IoT) toy, the $75 doll uses voice recognition software and a Wi-Fi connection to have a two-way dialogue with a child. Mattel has recorded more than 8,000 lines of dialogue, and the doll will remember a kid’s name and their likes and dislikes. The child’s voice is recorded, transferred to the cloud and stored on a server. Despite assurances by Mattel, critics wonder what might be done with the information collected. They also fear the doll can be hacked, allowing predators to spy on a child. The controversy over a fashion doll that has undergone multiple makeovers since the first Barbie catwalked into the marketplace in 1959 makes the latest version ideal for the College’s MakerWeb Consortium to dissect. In February, the consortium hosted “Hello Barbie Teardown Sessions,” a series

of events to encourage co-curricular Making across campus, with a particular focus on bridging the gaps between the humanities and STEM fields. The series kicked off Feb. 4, with a play session in Wold Atrium. There were also sessions on taking apart the doll, rebuilding it, redesigning her physical attributes, and brief presentations on a range of topics including gendered play and IoT security. “I could have addressed lots of different Internet of Things toys, but so few have been critically dissected, so it becomes a bridge to connect the humanities with technology,” said Amanda Ervin. She recently joined Union as Makerspace coordinator, a new position at the College. “I quickly questioned the packaging of such vulnerabilities in a toy so many young girls love. The MakerWeb is the perfect place to have this conversation. We can talk about the issues and then remake the toy in better ways, ultimately empowering people to make their own versions of the toy.” In addition to the sessions, the MakerWeb is working with Girls Inc. of Schenectady

to understand the perceptions young girls bring to the conversation and empower them to build their own version of Hello Barbie. As Makerspace coordinator, Ervin oversees the MakerWeb Consortium, an interdisciplinary research initiative with its hub based in the Collaborative Design Studio in the Wold Center. The mission is to foster and accelerate novel research by harnessing the power of rapid prototyping design, 3D printing, digital fabrication and hands-on making. She is confident Hello Barbie will introduce a cross-section of campus to the Makerspace. “We want students to recognize their place in the designing and making of products that affect their l ives so deeply,” Ervin said. “Certainly students who can build Internet of Things networks can contribute, but there is also a place for Gender Studies and many other disciplines. In this case, the relationships become very clear, and disciplines that typically don’t work with their hands will see new opportunities to do so.”

Karin Limburg, professor of environmental biology at SUNY College of

“An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein,” a compilation of plays,

Environmental Science and Forestry, delivers keynote address at eighth

poetry and music, all written by Shel Silverstein. Silverstein’s work played a large role in the childhood of Adjunct Professor of Theater Johnathan Albert, who assembled eight plays and six


Yulman Theater presents its first major production of the term,

annual Mohawk Watershed Symposium. More than 150 participants attended, including scientists, engineers and other professionals, and students.

poems by the famous writer to create the performance.


| 11

across campus

Record number of students seek to join Union



pplications to Union have topped 6,000 for the first time, the highest number submitted for any class in the College’s history. The record 6,570 applications from some of the nation’s top high school students vying to join the Class of 2020 eclipse last year’s mark of 5,996. This includes nearly 400 early decision applications, the same as last year. Students applying under early decision have made a commitment to attend Union if they are accepted.

Since 2006, the number of applications to Union has jumped 50 percent. Founded in 1795 as the first planned campus in the country, Union is consistently ranked among the nation's top liberal arts colleges. “The word continues to get out about the quality of the Union experience,” said Matt Malatesta ’91, vice president for Admissions, Financial Aid and Enrollment. “But while we are happy with the continued growth in the

number of applications, we value more the overall quality of the applicant pool, which is outstanding.” This year’s applicant pool is broad in its geographic and international reach, with more students applying from outside the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Since 2005, the percent of students in Union’s incoming class who represent domestic multicultural diversity has increased from 12 to 20 percent; international students

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and

Annual Dutchmen Dip raises over

Cultural Affairs announces Union is among U.S. colleges

$15,000 for Union community members

and universities that produced most 2015-16 Fulbright

fighting cancer. Event co-founder

U.S. Students. The College had four award-winners

Kaitlyn Suarez ’16, diagnosed with

Lindsay Hage ’12 (Colombia), Julia Hotz ’15 (Greece),

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 15, is pictured

Lucas Rivers ’15 (Vietnam), Selene Paloma ’15 (Azerbaijan)

here taking the plunge.

12 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

have grown from 2 to 9 percent. The expected size of the Class of 2020 is 565 students. “The value of a Union education has never been greater,” Malatesta said. “We look forward to taking the time to get to know all of our applicants and welcoming those students who we believe are a good fit for the Union community.” Regular decision letters were sent by April 1. Accepted students had until May 1 to commit.

Lyme disease An interdisciplinary problem BY ERIN DEMUTH JUDD

hen it comes to infectious diseases, it doesn’t just take a village. It takes states and nations. It takes a world. Infectious diseases, or disorders caused by microorganisms, require more interdisciplinary mind-power and collaboration across fields, institutions and borders than most other big issues facing humanity today. Think Ebola. Or more locally in the Northeastern United States, there’s the non-lethal (but still quite serious) Lyme disease. “Germs are everywhere, some are harmful and some are not. They have routes of transmission—


food, water, air, sex, drugs, insects—anything,” said Dr. D. Peter Drotman ’69, editor-in-chief of the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “So to address all these things and minimize risk, you need everybody involved.” “For example, consider the people who grow the food and wash the dishes, the people who pump water to your house and safeguard the reservoir from contamination or oversee the safety of the water you swim in,” he added. “Everyone from educators to social scientists, to those who study the illness-causing microbes to those who make

Above: Blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis (Courtesy of CDC/Michael L. Levin, Ph.D.) Spring 2016 UNION COLLEGE

| 13

LY M E D I S E A S E I S : • transmitted by infected blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) • caused by bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi • the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in U.S. • most heavily reported (96% of cases) in Northeast, upper Midwest • increasing: >10,000 reported cases in 1994 vs. >30,000 in 2014 • underreported, estimates suggest 300,000 people diagnosed yearly • usually treatable with antibiotics • preventable with proper precautions • an illness characterized by fever, rash muscle and joint aches (early stage) • an illness characterized by severe arthritis, and neurological, cognitive and cardiac problems (late stage) Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

14 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

Kathryn Kurchena ’16 and Katherine Christopher ’16 prepare to weigh ticks as part of their research with Biology Professor Kathleen LoGiudice. To learn more about their work, see the sidebar, “Student research” (p. 19)

vaccines—there’s almost no one who doesn’t play a role. This article is playing one now, transmitting information that will make people a little better informed.” And so it is with Lyme disease, the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. A vector-borne illness is one transmitted by bloodsucking arthropods like ticks (Lyme) or mosquitoes (Zika, West Nile, malaria). Here at Union, interdisciplinary collaboration between biology professor Kathleen LoGiudice and economics professor Stephen Schmidt has enhanced understanding of certain aspects of Lyme disease.

Research at Union Together, the pair quantified the economic value of habitat restoration in the Albany Pine Bush. Their 2012 study specifically investigated whether returning the ecosystem to its natural state would reduce Lyme disease risk in the preserve. The answer was yes; a fact that correlated with significant savings in health care dollars. “The restoration work involved taking a closed-canopy forest, created by invasive black locust trees, and replacing it with native savannah-like vegetation— grasses and low shrubs with the occasional pitch pine,” LoGiudice said. “Blacklegged ticks are animals of the forest. They cannot tolerate drying, the savannah-like habitat is not ideal for them. They thrive instead in areas where soils have a lot of organic matter and less sunlight reaches the forest floor—areas like those created by the locusts.” Returning the Pine Bush to its mostly open state, however, takes money. Removing invasive vegetation, planting native species and then conducting controlled burns of the land every five years (as demanded by native vegetation that depends on fire) was projected to cost $22.049 million.

$22.049 million

Cost to return the Pine Bush to its mostly open state

98% Reduction in ticks in restored areas

$8,568 Cost of treating one case of Lyme Disease

$294,168 Savings of averting just one case of Lyme this year, next year and every year into the future

75 of 100,000 Number of Pine Bush visitors who avoid illness for habitat remediation to pay for itself in public health benefits

But it’s a price tag that seemed to be worth it. “We saw a 98-percent reduction in ticks in restored areas, which really reduces a person’s chance of being bitten,” Schmidt said. “And the benefits of having people not get Lyme disease, as we measured them, are that the medical resources that would have been spent on their cases can instead go to other patients or be returned to the public via lower health care costs.” “The cost of treating one case of Lyme works out to $8,568, on average,” he added. The duo, who also worked with Scott Morlando ’08, used the economic concept of “present value,” which allows calculation of the worth of future costs or benefits in current dollars. So doing the math, they found that averting just one $8,568-case of Lyme this year, next year and every year into the future, is equivalent to saving $294,168 right now. Taking it further, the researchers calculated that $22.049 million for restoration and maintenance, divided by the $294,168 cost of each Lyme disease case, equals 75. And $294,168 multiplied by 75 equals $22,048,999. That means if just 75 of the 100,000 Pine Bush visitors each year avoid illness, habitat remediation pays for itself in public health benefits.

T H E C O S T O F LY M E Research conducted by biology Professor Kathleen LoGiudice and economics Professor Stephen Schmidt (with Scott Morlando ’08) investigated the expected costs of treating Lyme disease as part of a larger study, “Reduction in Lyme Disease Risk as an Economic Benefit of Habitat Restoration.” They found that the cost of treating one case of Lyme ranged from $5,580 to $11,556, the average being $8,568.


| 15

DID YOU KNOW? The blacklegged tick goes through three life stages (larva, nymph, adult) and needs a blood-meal from a host animal to complete each developmental phase. As newly hatched larvae, all ticks are free of the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. They only become infected after feeding on an animal that carries the bacterium, and this means that only nymphs and adults can infect a person. Source: Kathleen LoGiudice, professor of biology

Above: A female blacklegged tick, or deer tick, its abdomen engorged with a host blood meal (Courtesy of CDC/Dr. Gary Alpert)

16 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

These numbers, or rather the collaboration with Morlando and Schmidt, really enhanced the overall findings of the study. “The straight ecology was not surprising, we expected to find fewer ticks and therefore lower disease risk in grasslands,” LoGiudice said. “It would have been unexceptional work without an interdisciplinary student like Scott, who doubled-majored in environmental science and economics, to bring Steve and me together.” “Our paper grew directly out of Scott’s thesis. I never would have come up with the idea for this project if he hadn’t come to us needing a thesis that combined both his majors,” she continued. “Combining both fields allowed us to learn more than we could have alone. If we had done a straight economics paper or a straight ecology paper, neither would have had the impact they did once we joined them.” Morlando is equally happy they had the chance to collaborate. “Working with Steve and Kathleen taught me the importance of understanding the different perspectives, experiences and expertise that people bring to teams,” he said. “The interdisciplinary background has been very helpful to me professionally.

This digitallycolorized scanning electron micrograph depicts a grouping of numerous Gramnegative, anaerobic, Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, which cause Lyme disease. (Courtesy of CDC/Claudia Molins)

It gives a person practice and experience in viewing problems and issues through different lenses, and allows them to (hopefully) take the best practices from each discipline.” Morlando, now in Denver, Colo., is a senior consultant for FTI Consulting, Inc., focused on the natural resources space. He helps distressed companies manage liquidity and navigate the bankruptcy process. Like her former student, LoGiudice also understands the value of looking at problems in different ways and is continually investigating Lyme disease from various ecological angles. Working with colleagues at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies (Millbrook, N.Y.), for instance, she has contributed to the body of knowledge on Lyme and the animals that ticks feed on. Specifically, they have explored whether the prevalence of infected tick nymphs (young ones most likely to pass Lyme to humans) increases or decreases with the composition of forest fauna. In the 2009 study, the researchers counted the number of nymphs on animals that commonly inhabit forests in the Northeast, including opossums, squirrels, white-footed mice and chipmunks. And it turns out certain critters were less tolerant of ticks getting a quick bite to eat than others. Take opossums.


of ticks encountering opossums molted into nymphs

49.3% Almost half of larval ticks encountering mice molted into nymphs and survived

Biology Professor Kathleen LoGiudice shows off an opossum captured as part of Lyme disease research conducted with the Cary Institute in Millbrook, N.Y.

“Opossums are not very ‘permissive’ hosts and they seem to kill a lot of the ticks that try to feed on them by a mechanism that isn’t entirely clear,” LoGiudice said. “They may groom them off or they may have an immune response that prevents the ticks from feeding or even kills them.” “What we do know is that only a small fraction of ticks that infest opossums actually get a good blood meal and molt into nymphs,” she continued. “In addition, those that do molt successfully typically are not infected with the Lyme bacterium.” To be precise, only 3.5 percent of ticks that encountered opossums fed successfully and molted into nymphs. In contrast, almost half of larval (baby) ticks attached to mice and got the meal they needed to grow and enter the nymph stage of development.

So when the researchers used mathematical models to hypothetically remove these two animals from an ecosystem, the density of infected tick nymphs would increase or decrease accordingly. “Removal of mice from a simulated community always reduced the density of infected nymphs, while removal of opossums increased the density of infected ticks, if ticks that would have fed on opossums were redistributed to remaining hosts,” they wrote in the study. In fact, the group found that if 33 percent of ticks were redistributed to other animals, the loss of a single opossum resulted in a 15 percent increase in Lyme disease risk. This investigation into the role of host composition in disease risk is an important one, not only for Lyme but for many infectious diseases (like malaria or


| 17

“In general, I work on trying to reduce the impact of infectious diseases on humans and wildlife by learning about the influence of ecology and the environment on pathogen transmission,” – Kate Langwig ‘08

dengue). More than 1 million people worldwide die each year of vector-borne illnesses, according the World Health Organization. But one of the challenges of disease ecology is that findings cannot necessarily be applied from one illness to the next, or even from one region to another dealing with the same disease. There are simply too many variables to ever have a blanket set of rules that can be applied in each situation and each habitat.

Challenges of infectious disease research “This is especially true with these complex diseases that circulate among wildlife and have so many different hosts,” LoGiudice said. “Even the weather can be a factor, not only potentially affecting tick survival, but also influencing how likely people are to be outside and how likely they are to be in contact with ticks.” “Ecologists have physics envy,” she added with a chuckle. “In physics, if you drop it, it will fall down. There’s nowhere on earth this isn’t the case. We don’t have those universal laws in ecology.” Kate Langwig ’08 is intimately acquainted with this fact. A postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard University’s Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, her research is full of variables that are rarely constant. “In general, I work on trying to reduce the impact of infectious diseases on

18 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

humans and wildlife by learning about the influence of ecology and the environment on pathogen transmission,” said Langwig, who counts LoGiudice among her undergraduate mentors. “At Harvard I’m working on a project to make better predictions about the effectiveness of vaccines in diverse communities.” “We’re trying to build mathematical models to understand why, in a developing country, a vaccine is 30 percent effective, but in an industrialized nation, it’s 80 percent,” she continued. “It’s difficult to encompass the differences that affect vaccine performance in all situations. How much exposure people are getting to mosquitos in urban Brazil will be really different from the number of insects transmitting a disease in rural Africa, for instance.” It’s even more difficult to just plain predict which diseases are going to become problems and when. Langwig points to Ebola as a recent example. Suspected of first sickening people who may have come into contact with infected wildlife, before being transmitted person-to-person, Ebola is a disease humanity has known about since the 1970s. But it wasn’t until the 2014 outbreak in West Africa that Ebola really started making international headlines in popular media. “We’ve known about it for 40 years, imagine a disease we don’t know about,” Langwig said. “How do you predict it, how do you prepare?” This is further complicated by the fact that a pathogen jumping from animals to humans (spillover) appears to be a rare occurrence. “We don’t really know the probability, but some have estimated it’s 1 in 10 million, or even 1 in 1 billion,” Langwig said. “So mathematically, prediction can be a huge challenge. And it’s compounded by the fact that we don’t know what conditions facilitate spillover, and for

Student research K

atherine Christopher ’16 and Kathryn Kurchena ’16 are working with Biology Professor Kathleen LoGiudice to learn more about the ecology of ticks and their hosts. They spent summer 2015 trapping white-footed mice and chipmunks to collect ticks that were feeding on the animals. These ticks, fully engorged with a blood meal from the rodents, were placed in soil cores and buried in the ground in the ticks’ natural habitat. During winter 2016, Christopher and Kurchena retrieved the cores and the ticks that had survived and molted into nymphs. This project is providing data for two very different senior theses. Christopher is investigating whether various conditions on the forest floor affect tick survival, while Kurchena is analyzing the nymphs using a specialized instrument called a stable isotope mass spectrometer. Her goal is to determine if the host animals that ticks have fed on can be identified based on the elemental composition of the ticks themselves. “The stable isotope mass spectrometer is able to distinguish between different isotopes of carbon and nitrogen (elements with different numbers of neutrons),” Kurchena explained. “Based on the type of host the tick

feeds on, we expect different ‘signatures,’ or ratios of these isotopes in the tick.” Specifically, it’s the diet of the host animal that leads to these signatures. Each type of host animal eats different things and each of these diets contain different levels of carbon and nitrogen isotopes. So when ticks drink the blood of their hosts, they are essentially following these diets— meaning their own signatures will vary depending on what their hosts have eaten. In order to analyze the ticks with the mass spectrometer, though, the arthropods must first be weighed. “Nymphal ticks are incredibly small (.06-.08 mg), so we weigh them and combine several ticks in a batch to run in the stable isotope machine,” Kurchena said. “If we just use one tick, the background of the machine (basically the basal reading) will mask the signature of the actual tick.” The hope is that this work will lead to increased understanding of Lyme disease transmission. “With better methods for identifying tick host community composition, we hope researchers will have a better idea of spillover of Lyme disease into humans,” Kurchena said. “That’s our big picture.”

Kathryn Kurchena ’16 (right), a biology major, and Katherine Christopher ’16, a biology/environmental science major, wear white coveralls to protect against ticks while they conduct field work for their research with Biology Professor Kathleen LoGiudice.

Meanwhile, Christopher is crunching survival data. “Tick density can vary substantially from one site to the next, making the risk of contracting Lyme disease extremely variable and difficult to predict,” she said. “My study focuses on the impact of predators and other environmental factors on the survival of larval ticks during the vulnerable molting and winter diapause periods. A better understanding of what causes this variability will help us to identify high-risk areas and possibly reduce Lyme transmission.” So far she has found that predators— namely spiders—eat a lot of ticks. Soil cores with a single spider had 60 percent fewer nymphs than cores without spiders. This could have repercussions for human health, especially when treating areas with pesticides that kill ticks, since compounds that kill ticks also kill spiders (their close relatives). So, although pesticide treatment may be useful in the short term, it may lead to higher tick densities in the long term. Christopher is also exploring the impact of leaf litter and host species on tick survival. “I hope my work will provide some pieces of the very complex puzzle that regulates tick densities,” she said. Spring 2016 UNION COLLEGE

| 19

A photomicrograph of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease

Kathryn Kurchena ’16, a biology major, prepares to weigh ticks as part of her research with Biology Professor Kathleen LoGiudice. To learn more about her work, see the sidebar, “Student research” (p. 19)

(Courtesy of CDC)

most zoonotic diseases, we know so little about the ecology of the pathogens themselves.” “We don’t know what the natural hosts are, or when pathogen prevalence is highest in the natural community. We don’t know how the pathogen is transmitted or how long it survives outside its host or which individuals are most likely to be affected,” she added. “Knowing all this is obviously critical for understanding when a disease might spillover, but for the vast majority of pathogens, we don’t have the answers.” Lyme is an exception to this. Although much remains to be learned—such as the exact causes of the disease’s proliferation— the bacterium responsible for Lyme is known. So are its hosts (e.g. mice and chipmunks) and its transmission path— from animal to tick to human. And antibiotics are effective treatment in the majority of cases. “Thanks, in part, to work done by Kathleen and colleagues, we have an awesome body of work on the ecology of Lyme,” Langwig said. “This is helped by the fact that Lyme isn’t nearly as rare as

20 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

some other diseases.” And at least in the Northeast and upper Midwest, Lyme could even be called common. “It’s the most reported vector-borne disease in the United States, though it’s highly focused in 14 states,” said Dr. D. Peter Drotman ’69, who before joining the CDC served in the WHO Smallpox Eradication Programme, assisting in the successful eradication of smallpox from Bangladesh. “With around 30,000 cases each year, it’s above all others—malaria, dengue and Zika are not close in numbers. Of course, HIV is way past Lyme. It’s a virus that jumped from primates to humans.” Whatever the disease, humans need to understand it, and the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal is dedicated to making that happen. Edited by Drotman, the open-access publication tackles aspects of infectious disease not covered in clinical journals, which typically offer information on treatment of illnesses. Instead, it focuses on factors involved in disease emergence, prevention and elimination. “People get very concerned about

diseases that emerge, like Ebola, Zika, Lyme, SARS. Our goal is to find these diseases before they become big-time problems—before patients start showing up—and provide information and possibly strategies for preventing them,” Drotman said. “We cover every aspect from veterinary medicine to geographic spread of an illness, to disease ecology and epidemiology to food chain decontamination.” “Many infectious diseases that emerge come from animals—food chain animals or wildlife,” he added. “Lyme is one of these. It got into areas where people live because some animals adapted very well to suburban life.” The journal also publishes research that tackles one of the most formidable disease-related challenges the world faces. “We’re running out of antibiotics, and

some bacteria are resistant to nearly all antibiotics we have. Bacteria are evolving faster than we can invent new drugs to kill them,” Drotman said. “So we may need to find an entirely different strategy, something that affects the immune system or more vaccines for the most worrisome bacteria, or something that reverses their resistance to antibiotics.” This is just one more reason interdisciplinary collaboration is crucial to combating infectious diseases, and not just among immunologists or ecologists or epidemiologists. “Social scientists of all kinds are very important in this,” LoGiudice said. “Knowledge of human behavior and how to influence it—how to change people’s habits so they’re more aware and less likely to be infected—is huge.”

WHEN ENCOUNTERING TICKS Biology Professor Kathleen LoGiudice works closely with student researchers on many aspects of her Lyme disease work, and they all take special steps to reduce their chances of being bitten. “I’m a bit paranoid about ticks when working with students, having had Lyme disease once myself,” she said. So here’s what they do in the field (they have additional safeguards in place for lab work): • Wear white coveralls (makes spotting ticks easier) • Tuck pants into socks • Stop periodically to inspect one another for ticks • Perform thorough tick checks every 24 hours in front of full-length mirror (provided if students need one) • Properly remove any imbedded ticks • Test all students for Lyme disease 6-8 weeks after contact with ticks For additional information on Lyme and preventing tick bites, visit www.cdc.gov/lyme

White coveralls make it easier for students working with Biology Professor Kathleen LoGiudice to spot ticks on their clothing. Tasha Scott '15, Colleen Cook '14 and Dan Rice '14, shown here, had just been drenched by a sudden thunderstorm.


| 21


22 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016



hase Finkel ’16 was impressed by the free health care, and the lack of crime and drugs. Dima Yankova ’16 noted the high rates of literacy and socially progressive programs, such as a government-sponsored LGBTA center. And Hector Tejeda ’16 and Gina Valentine ’16 were struck by the cultural literacy in Cuba. “Cubans are one of the most talented people in the world. They value the arts, dance, music, jazz and playing instruments from birth,” Tejeda said. “It is impressive that such a small country contributes a disproportional amount to art, literature and music,” Valentine added. These four students and 17 others participated in the inaugural Cuba miniterm, led by Teresa Meade, the Florence B. Sherwood Professor of History and Culture, over winter break.

Above, sunset in Santiago de Cuba (photo by Yareli Rodriguez ’16); at right, students in Plaza de Revolucion (photo by Prof. Teresa Meade) Spring 2016 UNION COLLEGE

| 23

In Santa Clara, at the tomb of revolutionary leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara (Meade)

In the first year after the U.S. eased travel restrictions and bureaucratic barriers to studying and traveling in the Caribbean island nation, they explored its history, politics and culture through lectures and conversations with prominent scholars, writers, artists, musicians and government representatives. “Our very diverse group of students represented different parts of the campus community,” said Meade. “For instance, international students Dima (from Bulgaria) and Lolu (Omololu Adeniran ’16 from Nigeria) come from backgrounds where the Cuban Revolution was looked at very favorably. Chase, on the other 24 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

A tour of Camagüey via bicitaxis (Rodriguez)

Drew Zangrillo ’17, left, and Anthony Wright ’17 at Moncado Elementary School, to which the group donated school supplies (photo by Dima Yankova ’16)

hand, is from Miami and hadn’t heard a lot of good things about Cuba. He found his impressions changed.” Remarking on the transitional status of the country, Finkel said, “For a long time, the revolutionary generation held strong to communist ideals, but in talking to kids from our generation, they very much want to enter the global community and become connected with the world.” What didn’t he know before he left? “With all the disdain heaped on socialism and the Castro brothers, in Cuba every citizen is literate, has free healthcare and has a guaranteed meal.”

Students get a lesson from the Cuba All Stars dance team (Rodriguez)


| 25

Outside of Santiago de Cuba, on a hike to the Monument to the Runaway Slave (Monumento del Cimarrón) with the Virgin of Copper Church (Iglesia de la Virgen del Cobre) in the background (photo by Navid Nowrouzi '16)

At the Wall of Heroes at the Moncada Barracks Museum in Santiago de Cuba, site of the outbreak of the 1953 revolution (Nowrouzi)

26 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

Yankova found it eye-opening to witness how “Cubans live in two parallel but increasingly more divided worlds, one made for the locals and one made for the outsiders who come to Cuba as visitors.” Also on the mini-term were Mary Nell Cella ’16, Christopher Graff ’16, Hannah Hage ’16, Spencer Kahler ’17, Caelin Kaplan ’16, Navid (Kian) Nowrouzi ’16, Brendan O’Connor ’17, Melissa Rodriguez’16, Nurisha Rodriguez ‘’16, Yareli Rodriguez ’16, Madison Shapiro ’17, Brian Teitelbaum ’17, Tyler Valenti ’16, Quisqueya Witbeck ’16, Anthony Wright ’17 and Drew Zangrillo ’17. The group delivered sports equipment, gathered from students on campus and from the Athletic Department, to a community in Havana and brought school supplies to an elementary class in Santiago de Cuba.

A tap dancer with senior citizens at the Santa Amalia Community Center (Rodriguez)

Monument at the tomb of Ernesto “Che� Guevara in Santa Clara (Meade)

Sports day with children at the Muraleandro Community Project in Havana, where the group donated sports equipment collected by Union students and the Department of Athletics (Nowrouzi) Spring 2016 UNION COLLEGE

| 27


Electronic health records: Good, bad or both Ever wonder what Union professors are up to when they aren’t teaching? Just about everything, as it turns out. Nothing is beyond their collective reach or curious minds. Here’s just a glimpse of the diverse and intriguing work they do.

Stablein, Timothy, Joseph Hall, Chauna Pervis, and Denise Anthony. 2015. “Negotiating Stigma in Health Care: Disclosure and the Role of Electronic Health Records.” Health Sociology Review 24(3):227-41.

28 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

Timothy Stablein, assistant professor of sociology (With Joseph Lorenzo Hall, Center for Democracy and Technology; Chauna Pervis, American University College of Law; Denise L. Anthony, Dartmouth College)


ur entire lives can be charted on computers—social lives on Facebook, careers on LinkedIn, shopping habits on Amazon. Even our health history is just a click away these days. And this last one has a sharp double-edge to it, particularly for individuals who might face stigmatization, as Timothy Stablein and his colleagues discovered when they interviewed 30 sexual-minority men. “We explored their perception of electronic health records in the clinical encounter in general and for disclosure in particular,” he said. “We found that electronic records had the potential to both improve and compromise interactions with health care providers.” Some men worried that e-records might label them as a “type” of patient with certain “types” of health needs, potentially limiting their care or subjecting them to unnecessary testing. They also expressed concern that being labeled would compromise interactions with providers where they might not have chosen to share their sexuality. “It wasn’t necessarily that the record contained this information,” Stablein said, “but that its widespread availability meant giving up the choice to selectively disclose it.” This very thing, however, was seen as a benefit by other men. “They felt widespread access made care more efficient across a variety of health settings, giving each doctor access to all information,” Stablein said. “And since disclosing stigmatizing information can be stressfult, the relief of not having to do this with each new provider was seen as a real benefit.” The privacy of e-records was similarly both positive and negative.

Some men believed e-records were not as secure as paper, while others felt e-records provided greater confidentiality. Whether e-records improve care remains to be seen, but one thing is certain. “This has potential implications for all

Together, a collecti Lori Marso, professor of political science


n 1947, French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir came to the United States on an “intellectual tour.” In addition to giving lectures at several colleges, she met American journalists, authors, and philosophers including Richard Wright, at that time considered the main voice of African American struggle in the U.S. Wright had already published several books—Black Boy, Native Son and 12 Million Black Voices. Beauvoir was also a well-known author, on the cusp of writing The Second Sex, her 1949 landmark work of feminist philosophy. Lori Marso, professor of political science, has researched the connection between the two icons and how they came to reject the idea of oppression by identity to forge a solidarity at the intersections of African American and feminist aspirations. She has written an article, “Solidarity sans identity: Richard Wright and Simone de Beauvoir theorize political subjectivity,” that appeared in Contemporary Political Theory (Vol. 13, No. 3, 2014) and won the journal’s annual prize. Their connection has relevance today, Marso says, especially during the divisive rhetoric of an election year. “What I really love about [Wright and Beauvoir] coming

? who receive health care in the digital age, not only those who experience stigma, but anyone concerned about the privacy and use of their health information,” Stablein said. — Erin DeMuth Judd

ve cause together is that they try to think about oppressions together,” she says. “We need that now more than ever. We have a rhetoric that excludes the poor, non-whites, and immigrants. We need to think about the intersections of oppression, rather than only about identities.” Identity does have a place, Marso notes. For example, there is importance in the Black Lives Matter movement that emerged with the focus on police killings of African Americans. But issues of that movement should also be considered in the context of economic inequality and the status of immigrants and undocumented people. The 1960s saw a convergence of movements: feminism, the counter culture, anti-war, civil rights and black power. But there is a danger in isolating those movements or their leaders, Marso says. Malcolm X and James Baldwin, key figures of black nationalism and civil rights, respectively, were connected by many of the same questions. “When you separate individuals and talk about just single identity issues, you fail to see the context in which their ideas are formed … this way of thinking diminishes and impoverishes the way that we see politics happening,” Marso says. Marso is completing a book, Politics with Beauvoir: Freedom in the Encounter (Duke University Press, forthcoming); editing a book, 51 Key Feminist Thinkers (Routledge, 2016); and co-edited (with Bonnie Honig) a special issue of the journal Theory & Event (Johns Hopkins University Press) on Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier which is being published in revised form as a book with Oxford University Press, called Gender, Power, and Politics in the Films of Lars von Trier. — Charlie Casey

Racial solidarity high among African Americans Lewis Davis, professor of economics (With Stephen Wu, Hamilton College)


hink money can’t buy happiness? Think again. Research has continually found that people are more satisfied when they have higher incomes. But they grow decidedly less satisfied as the average income of their peers rises. As Lewis Davis puts it, “driving my new BMW may make me happy, but I’m a bit less pleased when you pass me in your Porsche.” Yet recent work by Davis and Stephen Wu challenges this conclusion that personal status matters so much. They uncovered a more nuanced picture by breaking things down by race. While white people were unhappier about their lives as other white peoples’ incomes increased, the opposite was true for African Americans. They became more satisfied the more money their fellow African Americans made. Why? The researchers examined several possible explanations, including information effects and racial solidarity. Davis describes the relationship between income and information effects like this: “If you’re in graduate school and other students are getting great jobs, you think, ‘I’m going to get a great job, too.’ You’re happy others are doing well because it indicates you will, too.” So Davis and Wu looked at African American retirees. If information effects were the explanation, retiree happiness wouldn’t be correlated with rising peer income because retirees aren’t working or looking for work. What Davis and Wu found was that retirees were just as happy about increasing African Ameri-

can income as working people, so information effects couldn’t be a key factor. Racial solidarity, then—a sense of common identity and empathy—better explained why African American satisfaction was positively correlated with rising African American income. This sense of common identity was also found in whites, when social salience was taken into account. “In Japan, you’re more aware of your racial identity if you’re Caucasian because of the relative scarcity of white people there,” Davis explained. “Being white is less present in your own mind in, say, Iceland.” In a nutshell, white racial solidarity was stronger in places where whites made up a smaller share of the population. Whites were happier about the success of other whites in California than they were in Maine or Vermont. “The same thing was true for African Americans,” Davis said. “African American solidarity was stronger in Vermont and weaker in Mississippi.” “Status and solidarity were present for both groups,” he added, “though solidarity was dominant for African Americans in every state and status was dominant for whites in every state.” The reason? “We thought of it as something constructed out of a common history and experience of racism, things that bind the African American community together,” Davis said. “The Civil Rights Movement demanded tremendous solidarity.” Read the study: http://papers.ssrn.com/ sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2045902 — Erin DeMuth Judd Spring 2016 UNION COLLEGE

| 29






(with K.C. Schulberg)

(with Jesse Downing)

(with Nancy Kaull)

Limping on Water: My forty-year adventure with one of America’s outstanding communications companies

Investment: A History

Voyages: Stories of ten Sunsail owner cruises

CEO: Mastering the Corporate Pyramid

Phil Beuth was the first employee of a fledgling media startup, Capital Cities Communications, which over Beuth’s four-decade career grew to become one of America’s most influential and successful media companies. With CapCities’ 1986 purchase of the ABC network—known as “the minnow that swallowed the whale”—Beuth became a division head and president of the Emmy-winning news show Good Morning America. The book, at once a personal memoir and company history, begins with the story of a disadvantaged boy from Staten Island who impresses trustee Frank Bailey enough that the financier covers his tuition at Union. “The Union College experience helped me feel confident, complete and ready to compete in the marketplace of ideas,” he writes. “The education I received in terms of language skills, appreciation of literature and the art of effective communication was remarkably valuable, and I will always remain in awe of my alma mater.” A profile of Beuth appears on page 35 of this issue. 30 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

Columbia Business School Publishing

Investing—the commitment of resources to achieve a return—affects individuals, families, companies, and nations, and has done so throughout history. Yet until the 16th century, investing was a privilege of only the elite classes. The story behind the democratization of investing is bound up with some of history’s most epic events. It is also a tale rich with lessons for professional and everyday investors who hope to make wiser choices. The book chronicles the democratization of investing, once a privilege only of the elite, and seeks to educate the investor and level the playing field. Reamer, a Life Trustee and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Union, was the chief investment officer and CEO of Putnam Investments in the 1970s. He founded United Asset Management in 1980 and ran it for 20 years. In 2003, he founded and led Asset Management Finance. Each firm was a leader in its investment approach and organizational structure. He lives and works in Boston. A profile of Reamer appears on page 37 of this issue.

Lulu Press

Paul Jacobs takes readers through his discovery of a passion for sailing, the joys of meeting and falling in love with Nancy Kaull, and the couples’ experience together cruising on 36’ sailboats in exotic locations all around the world with the Sunsail owners program. Paul describes the cruises with a scientist’s precision, a sense of humor, and a humble perspective that will engage sailors and non-sailors alike. Nancy contributes a second perspective with detailed journal entries interspersed throughout the book. Together, the couple provides a story that’s a successful fusion of personal memoir and a manual for travel to, and bareboat sailing at, numerous geographic locations. The authors live in Rhode Island and sail their 34’ Catalina, Pleiades, on Narragansett Bay and throughout New England. Their 36’ Jeanneau, Sandpiper, is in charter service based in the Caribbean.


There is a critical and growing need for effective and enlightened leadership in the private sector. The corporate world needs CEOs who can build companies, exceed customer expectations, address the needs of the world’s growing population, and deliver superior value to investors. Over one third of all new CEOs are out within three years and many companies don’t achieve their full potential due to lack of leadership talent. CEO: Mastering the Corporate Pyramid shines a spotlight on what CEOs actually do, identifies the skills necessary to do the job, and explains how to develop those skills for anyone aspiring to the executive suite, as well those considering starting or buying a business. It supplies a unique and powerful roadmap for career success and increases the chances for an aspiring CEO to make it to the top and survive and thrive in the position.



GEORGE H. SHAW, professor

GEORGE GMELCH, professor

Players: The Story of Sports and Money and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution

Oh Beautiful Beer: The Evolution of Craft Beer and Design

emeritus of geology

of anthropology

Earth’s Early Atmosphere and Oceans, and the Origin of Life

Playing With Tigers: A Minor League Chronicle of the Sixties

Countryman Press


University of Nebraska Press

The craft beer boom of the last decade has led to an explosion of new breweries. In such a crowded market, how do you make your beer stand out from the crowd? For many of the best brewers, the secret is to have an eyecatching design, something that reflects the quality of the product within and the values of the brewer who made it. Based on the hugely popular blog, Oh Beautiful Beer collects the most innovative new labels and logos into a sumptuous full-color book. Each brewery is selected by the author, a graphic designer, who uses the designs to create a visual history of craft beer. From the Gonzo cartoons of Flying Dog to the playful geometric patterns of Evil Twin to the classic Brooklyn "B," every beer geek will want to own this love letter to the art of beer.

This book provides a comprehensive treatment of the chemical nature of the Earth’s early surface environment and how that led to the origin of life. This includes a detailed discussion of the likely process by which life emerged using as much quantitative information as possible. The emergence of life and the prior surface conditions of the Earth have implications for the evolution of Earth’s surface environment over the following 2 to 2.5 billion years. The last part of the book discusses how these changes took place and the evidence from the geologic record that supports this particular version of early and evolving conditions.

In 1965, Gmelch signed a contract to play professional baseball with the Detroit Tigers organization and over the next four years came of age in the minor leagues. Gmelch recounts a baseball education unlike any other as he got to know small-town life across the United States against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, civil rights protests, and the emergence of the counterculture. The social and political turmoil of the times spilled into baseball, and Gmelch experienced the consequences firsthand as he played out his career in the Jim Crow South. Playing with Tigers captures the gritty, insular, and humorous life and culture of minor league baseball during a period when both the author and the country were undergoing profound changes. Drawing from journals he kept as a player, letters, and recent interviews with 30 former teammates, coaches, club officials, and even former girlfriends, Gmelch immerses the reader in the life of the minors and the universal struggle of young athletes trying to make their way.

Simon & Schuster

In the cash-soaked world of contemporary sports, it is mind-boggling to remember that as recently as the 1970s elite athletes earned so little money that many were forced to work second jobs in the off-season. Today, Fortune reports that every athlete on its Top 50 list makes more than $20 million per year. Futterman, a senior special writer for sports with The Wall Street Journal, chronicles the financial revolution of sports and the athletes, agents, TV execs, coaches, and owners who created the dominating and multifaceted industry. The story in the early 1960s, when Arnold Palmer signed with an agent and multiplied his offcourse earnings, and features landmarks including the 1973 Wimbledon boycott, Catfish Hunter’s battle to become baseball’s first free agent and the transformation of the NFL. A profile of Futterman appears on page 46 of this issue.

Bookshelf features new books written or edited by or about alumni and other members of the Union community. To be included in Bookshelf, send the book and the publisher’s press release to: Office of Communications, Union College, Schenectady, NY 12308 or send publisher’s press release and a high-resolution book cover image to magazine@union.edu.


| 31

U alumni clubs



Dallas area alumni connect at social hour: Kyrie York ’03, Bruce Sostek ’75, Gates Whitaker ’69, Mary Whitaker, John Temple ’67, Judy Temple, Sarah Conant ’06 and Cassie Evans ’06

Dean of Academic Departments and Programs Wendy Sternberg ’90 shares Union’s academic success with alumni in Philadelphia, including Ted Blandy ’74, Matthew Kearney ’09, Ellen Baxter ’81, Brandon McArdle ’09, Rein Eichinger ’72, Lauren Tabas ’01, Sloan Miller ‘01, Walter Spencer ’72, Alex Bodenstab ’73 and Christopher Geib ’89


Nick Matt ’67, owner of Saranac Brewery, hosts alumni from the Utica and Capital Regional for a private tour and reception.

s 32 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016


Alumni enjoy the Washington D.C. Club Annual Holiday party, a tradition that helps keep generations of graduates connected. Panelist Dan Tatar ’07 and Boston club committee member Cristina Vazzana’13 participated in an alumni career panel to help connect Bostonbound seniors with alumni.

Building Our Third Century


Cape Cod, Mass. JUNE 24, 2016 Tigers vs. Cyclones

(baseball) Norwich, Conn. JUNE 29, 2016 Nationals vs. Mets

(baseball) Washington, D.C. J U LY 6 , 2 0 1 6 White Sox vs. Yankees

(baseball) Chicago, Ill. J U LY 1 6 , 2 0 1 6 Yankees vs. Red Sox

(baseball) New York City AUG. 21, 2016 Giants vs. Mets (baseball)

San Francisco, Calif. AUG. 26, 2016 Red Sox vs. Royals

(baseball) Boston, Mass.

For more, visit


A gift was received from the estate of Robert G. Englebach. A portion of the proceeds established the Robert G. Englebach Endowed Fund for Asian Studies; the remainder added to the Donald R. Thurston Fund for Asian Studies. Mr. Englebach, husband of Professor Emeritus, Donald R. Thurston, received his engineering degree from Villanova University and worked for many years at the General Electric Company. An unrestricted gift was received from the estate of Richard W. Lent, Class of 1944. Proceeds will be used to support the Annual Fund. Mr. Lent was a strong supporter of the Annual Fund and served as a class volunteer in various capacities. After graduating Union, Mr. Lent spent time in the Air Corps, received his law degree from Albany Law, and practiced for many years in the MidHudson region. A trust distribution was received from the estate of Naomi Chambers and added to the Walter R.G. and Naomi Baker Scholarship. Mrs. Chambers was the widow of Walter R.G. Baker, Class of 1916. A gift was received from the estate of Edward C. Stefic, Class of 1945. Along with earlier distributions, this gift was added to the Edward C. Stefic 1945 Endowed Scholarship. In support of the Union College Annual Fund, a trust distribution was received from the estate of Robert L. Slobod, Class of 1935.

Proceeds from a life insurance policy were received from the estate of George V. Exner, Class of 1952, which established the Geoffrey V. Exner Scholarship Fund in memory of his son, to support students studying history. Mr. Exner had a lengthy career in sales and marketing in the insurance industry. A gift was received from the estate of Marjorie Edwards. Mrs. Edwards had established a charitable remainder unitrust naming Union a remainderman; the proceeds will be used to support Schaffer Library in memory of her husband, William C. Edwards, Class of 1941. A gift was received from the estate of Annette J. Horstman. Proceeds will be used to support scholarships in memory of her husband, Walter L. Horstman, Class of 1937. An unrestricted gift was received from the estate of Andrew L. Comrey, Class of 1944. Proceeds will be used to support the Annual Fund. Dr. Comrey was a professor at UCLA and chaired its Psychology Department.

A gift was received from the estate of Lois Bing. Proceeds were added to the Lois Bing Fund, created by family and friends in her honor, supporting the Mathematics Department. Lois was a longtime Union College employee. CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITIES

were established by: • Edward Lonergan, Class of 1959. The remainder of this gift will be used for a purpose to be determined. • Paul E. Kummer, Class of 1943. The remainder of this gift to be added to the Paul E. Kummer, Class of 1943, Endowed Scholarship. • Peter W. Milsky, Class of 1966, & Susan Milsky. The remainder of this gift will be used for a purpose to be determined. • Ronald Q. Jennett, Class of 1952. The remainder of this gift to be added to the Ronald Q. Jennett, Class of 1952, and Margaret Anne Jennett Endowed Scholarship.

A gift was received from the estate of Catherine Bouton. Proceeds will be used to establish the Richard Z. Bouton ’43 & Catherine T. Bouton Endowed Scholarship. Catherine Bouton was the widow of Richard Z. Bouton, Class of 1943. Longtime Schenectady residents, Mrs. Bouton worked as a public health nurse and Mr. Bouton in personnel management.


| 33

the classes

the classes and profiles

Garnet Guard Alumni who have celebrated their 50th ReUnion. GARNET GUARD CLASS CORRESPONDENT

Bob Howe ’58 135 Chevy Chase Dr. Wayzata, Minn. 55391 howex001@umn.edu

1950 Under the auspices of the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies, the Colorado European Union Center of Excellence (CEUCE) has established a scholarship fund in the names of Frieda Sanidas Leason and Bernard V. Leason. CEUCE is sponsored and supported by the European Union in a number of American universities and colleges. Its mission is to promote U.S.-European cooperation and understanding through a two-way scholarship program.


James Taub 711 S. Market St. Johnstown N.Y. 12095 (518) 762-1172


Dr. Arthur Stockman 3142 21st Court West Bradenton, Fla. 34205 (941) 345-4590 joanandart@gmail.com

Longboat Key, Florida provided the backdrop for a mini-reunion (getting more mini with the passage of time) of four fraternity brothers and long- time friends in mid-February. Jay Cohn, Bob 34 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

Hiller, Len Levine and Art Stockman reminisced about the single gender (male) campus of our day and the social problems that ensued. For us, the idea of looking to the future and contributing to positive change where possible makes more sense than only remembering a time and lifestyle that no longer exists. We look forward to more minis and contributions of wisdom.


Garrett Murphy 7 Maxwell Street Albany, N.Y. 12208-1607 gmurphy6@nycap.rr.com (518) 438-7319


Avrom J. Gold 40 Conger Street Apt. 709B Bloomfield, N.J. 07003 avromgold@gmail.com


Ken Haefner 1346 Waverly Pl. Schenectady, N.Y. 12308 haefnerkb@juno.com


Dr. Alan Greene 241 Perkins St. H401 Boston, Mass. 02130 Martin Stein 1107 Pipestem Place Potomac, Md. 20854 judithkstein@verizon.net (301) 340-7060 (home) (301) 237-0970 (cell)

Dr. Howard Rosenkrantz ’57 (not pictured) joined Tim McDonough ’57, Ed Ince ’57 and Jerry Little ’58 (left to right) in Stuart, Fla. All were Union lacrosse players with Tim on defense, Ed in the midfield and Jerry on attack.

Surgery at U.S.C. Medical School. He plans on returning to Union this June to receive his diploma, 60 years after graduation. If the sun is shining and the waves are rolling, he will be out surfing just about every day. I am proud to say that my grandson, Josh Price, is a sophomore at Union, which makes my visits back all the more fun.”



James R. Fisher 172 Patriot’s Crook Martinsville, Va. 24112 fisherstwo@gmail.com Paul Mohr 140 E Duce of Clubs Ste A Show Low, Ariz. 85901 dadtired@frontiernet.net Dr. Howard Rosenkrantz writes, “Having retired several years ago, after 45 years of dental practice in Marblehead, Mass., much of my time has been taken up with lots of golf, volunteering and traveling. I was back at Union in October for the dedication of a plaque I had produced to honor my soccer coach, Franz Gleich, who had endowed the sport in perpetuity many years ago. The plaque is now permanently displayed in the alumni gym. Recently, while in California, I had dinner with my freshman roommate, Dr. Mickey Hoffer, who I had not seen in 55 years and resides in Long Beach. Mickey is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and is the holder of an endowed chair, as well as being the past chairman of the Department of Orthopedic

Richard T. Steinbrenner 9 Hunters Trail Warren, N.J. 07059-7105 r.steinbrenner@att.net Dr. Daniel S. Papernik recently received a Faculty Service Achievement Award from New York University School of Medicine. The honor commemorates Daniel’s 35 years at the school, where he is a clinical professor of psychiatry.


William D. “Dal” Trader 5361 Santa Catalina Avenue Garden Grove, Calif. 92845 daltrader@earthlink.net dalt@wbct.us (310) 629-8971 George Scott lives three miles from Gaylord Hotel Convention Center and National Harbor Development, Tanger Outlet Mall, and Casino (under construction) in Fort Washington, Md.; thus close to I-95. He writes, “I am working on a book about World War I combat experiences of my father in France, and of post-armistice experiences in Luxemburg, Germany and Paris. Book is based on copies of letters he wrote to family



he story of the “minnow that swallowed the whale” is well known in the broadcast industry and beyond. Capital Cities Communications, which began in 1955 with one small UHF TV station in Albany, N.Y. and a young film editor named Phil Beuth ’54, grew into an empire that in 1986 would purchase the entire ABC network and put Beuth at the helm of one of its largest divisions. CapCities—known for savvy hires, entrepreneurial spirit, ethical management and community service—has been a case study at the nation’s top business schools. Investor Warren Buffett called the company “the gold standard for ethical corporate behavior.” Beuth was the first person hired by Tom Murphy, the CapCities founder who apparently saw in the Union grad the same diligence and zeal that led trustee Frank Bailey (Class of 1885) to cover Beuth’s tuition. Meeting Bailey in the financier’s cavernous wood-paneled Manhattan office, filled with Union memorabilia, is one of the stories Beuth tells in his new memoir, Limping on Water. “He was so excited, I practically expected him to break out into the school song!” Beuth writes. “That interview is eternally etched in my memory as … the first of many kindnesses extended to me by people I hardly knew.” Beuth describes his time at Union as “one of those ‘best time and place’ experiences.” But the “unsophisticated, flat-broke, 17-year-old” was nervous about fitting in. “I knew full well that I was in over my head, punching above my weight class, but that just made the challenge more exciting.” Rising to the challenge is a theme that appears throughout the book. Beuth lost his father when he was four years old. He and a brother were raised by a single mother and a grandfather who ran a small junk business in working class Staten Island. He was born with a mild form of cerebral palsy which gave him an awkward gait. (The title of the book comes from a CapCities inside joke. After Murphy lavished Beuth with praise, another exec remarked, “you’d think Philly Beuth limped on water.”) Young Beuth was a quick and determined learner who created opportunities that forged lifelong connections. As a kid, he met the legendary sports broadcaster Red Barber by winning a contest to predict baseball standings. When the youngster divulged that he aspired to follow in his hero’s footsteps, the announcer told him to lose his New York accent. Four years later, while a student at Union, Beuth was working as a page at WRGB TV. When he noticed a teletype announcing a visit to the GE plant by Red Barber and actor Ronald Reagan, Beuth inserted himself as tour guide. This time, Barber teased the young page, in his Southern drawl: “You still have a ways to go.” It was a refrain Beuth would hear from his hero for decades. Beuth writes that he was never a star pupil at Union, partly because of the need to balance his studies with his long hours

as a TV page. But the English major credits Union and Profs. Carl Neimeyer and Harold Blodgett for cultivating his talent. “The Union College experience helped me feel confident, complete and ready to compete in the marketplace of ideas,” he writes. “The education I received in terms of language skills, appreciation of literature and the art of effective communication was remarkably valuable, and I will always remain in awe of my alma mater.” After Union, Beuth earned a master’s in TV production from Syracuse University. Starting with his first job in 1955, at CapCities’ first station in Albany, Beuth eagerly tried his hand at everything in the emerging industry, rising through the ranks—film director, public affairs, producer, promotion manager, sales manager. As the company grew, Beuth took on larger assignments. In the late-60s, he was named sales manager, then VP and general manager for the CapCities affiliate in Huntington, W.V. In 1971, he was named president and general manager of KFSN TV in Fresno, Calif. Four years later, he was president and GM of WKBW TV, the CCC station in Buffalo. At each stop, Beuth’s stations were audience leaders. The pinnacle of his career came in 1985 when Capital Cities purchased ABC. Beuth was named president of morning and late night entertainment, and headed the ABC flagship, Good Morning America. After a restructure led by Beuth, GMA overtook NBC’s Today show as the top morning broadcast and won an Emmy. Along the way, Beuth dabbled in other projects including a TV production for the re-election campaign of New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, a sales promotion that brought 250 clients on a day trip to Bermuda, and a fundraiser for cerebral palsy that created a service center in Fresno. In Buffalo, he created several fundraisers for the Children’s Hospital. At ABC, he created the first series of prime time network specials devoted to AIDS. Beuth has worked with hundreds of talents, including Sir Paul McCartney, Regis Philbin, Burt Reynolds, Frank Sinatra and Red Skelton. Among the many who credit him for promoting their careers are Charlie Gibson, Joan Lunden, Arsenio Hall, Jack Hanna, Ted Knight and Wolfgang Puck.


| 35

the classes

members. I am in final (hope) editing stage. I would like to hear from Union classmates and acquaintances. (301) 567-1796; GScott520@comcast.net”



t’s for the birds. For the joy of them, for what can be learned about them, for the curiosity they inspire. That’s why Robert Yunick ’57 has banded 213,619 birds during the last five-and-a-half decades. A chemistry major at Union who went on to earn a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he got his master bird banding permit from the Bird Banding Laboratory of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1962. It allows him to capture and affix small metal bands (each with a unique I.D. number) to all species, except waterfowl, eagles or endangered/threatened species. He also holds a special license for the tiniest of feathered fliers. “There are perhaps several thousand master banders,” Yunick said. “Hummingbird master permits are far fewer in number, in the low- or mid-100 range. Hummer banding is a specialized skill that requires specialized training.” Indeed, it takes patience and a very steady hand to put a band no bigger than 2 millimeters on an only slightly smaller hummingbird leg. But Yunick is an expert. Using specific traps to capture the birds, which quickly relax without sedation in his gentle grasp, he records their species, age, sex, wing chord, fat class and mass in 4 or 5 minutes. Rare or unfamiliar species may take longer, but all birds are released immediately. The hope is that Yunick will meet them again someday, as he has 82,438 of the birds he’s banded. “When a bird is banded, it assumes that individual identity for life. With each recapture, it provides information on migration, longevity, fidelity to nesting and wintering grounds, and more,” Yunick said. “One of my ruby-throated hummingbird females, from my Adirondack camp on Jenny Lake, was recaptured at least once in each of the eight years following her initial banding. At the time, she tied the North American age record of 9 years for the species.”

36 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016


Charles Roden kiw702@aol.com

“Males on the other hand, appear not to survive beyond five years. Their frenetic, testosterone-driven lifestyle causes them to burn out earlier,” he added. “It’s interesting, when I tell this to an audience, sly smiles adorn the faces of the women.” Yunick has banded 205 species of birds in seven states and on Canada’s Victory Island (above the Arctic Circle). He’s banded raptors (his first snowy owl in 2014), an ivory gull of the far Arctic, and 4,844 hummingbirds. He co-authored the Identification Guide to North American Passerines (1987), and he’s written papers on multiple species, including a 43-year study of chickadees. At press time, he was awaiting feedback on a manuscript he submitted to North American Bird Bander detailing 24 years of hummingbird banding at his camp on Jenny Lake. After he retired from the SI Group in 1999 as vice president of corporate technology, Yunick also became active in planning and managing certification sessions for the North American Banding Council (NABC), mostly at Braddock Bay Bird Observatory near Rochester, N.Y. He was recently honored by the NABC, which gave him The James Henry Fleming Award for his outstanding service to the organization’s mission, and to the safe and ethical banding of birds.

Barry J. Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., adjunct professor of neurosurgery at Case Western Reserve and a member of the Department of Neurosurgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, received a three-year, $1 million grant for continuing research into gliptins for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Gliptins, widely used in the effective treatment of type 2 diabetes to safely regulate blood glucose levels, also have been found to provide neurological protection in Parkinson’s. In rat studies, gliptins increase levels of hormones called incretins which reduced Parkinson’s symptoms. The new grant will enable Barry and colleagues to continue their evaluation of gliptins as a new treatment strategy for Parkinson’s in mouse models. Paul Jacobs writes, “Nancy and I recently published Voyages, a story of 10 wonderful bare-boat cruises we took from 2009 through 2014 as owners of Sandpiper, a Jeanneau 36i sailboat. The book describes sailing in the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Martin, Nevis, St. Barth’s, Grenada, St. Lucia, Greece, Croatia, Turkey, and in French Polynesia. Each chapter describes our personal experiences, the places we truly loved, problems encountered and solved, and observations for others who

may sail these waters, literally or vicariously. The reviews have been uniformly positive.”


Bill Condon 1365 Van Antwerp Road, Apt. I-91 Niskayuna, N.Y. 12309 bcond041@nycap.rr.com (518) 382-1096 Jim Reisman writes, “Two Union alumni and their wives just happened to be on the same Viking Cruises trip to China in August–September! Lew Gedanskly ’64 and I recognized each other at almost the same time very early in the trip and we spent a considerable amount of time together as we toured through Shanghai, the Yangtse River, Xian and Beijing.”


Jim Reisman ’61, Deena Reisman, Joan Gedansky and Lew Gedansky ’64 in Shanghai, China

relationships dearly. Union has played an important part in my life, and continues to provide me with wonderful memories.”


Anton Warde 36 Two Lights Rd. Cape Elizabeth, Maine 04107 wardea@union.edu


Ollie R. Bunch 63 Silver Lining Way Hendersonville, N.C. 28792 (860) 480-9116


George Ball 6929 Country Line Road Wayland, N.Y. 14572-9553 gball@frontiernet.net Mike Slomka writes, “On December 31, 2015 I retired from my orthopaedic surgery practice after 41 wonderful and fulfilling years. Sandy and I will continue to live in St. Petersburg, Fla. I anticipate more golf, and more travel, especially to visit our eight grandchildren. I will miss my surgical practice, but I am thankful to have had such a long, and rewarding career. We both remain healthy, and we are looking forward to the next chapter. I am in touch with several of my Phi Sig buddies, and value those

James Kelley writes, “Midge and I continue to enjoy retirement in New England. Travel includes a fall 2014 completion of the 500-mile Camino Frances across northern Spain and a 2015 visit to Russia, St. Petersburg and Moscow, with a Friendship Force group and hosted in private homes. Four grandchildren an hour away are always a joy. Attending the recent Union-Harvard hockey game at Harvard with Union fraternity brothers and classmates was a pleasure, even if Union did not win. I enjoy an occasional coffee with Andy Warde, classmate and longtime Union professor of German, when visiting Portland, Maine.”



mong the interesting bits in Norton Reamer’s new book on the history of investing, retirement is a relatively new concept. As if to prove the point, the author himself has launched an ambitious second career focused on studying a field that he says has received little attention. Reamer, Class of 1958, was on campus on Founders Day to discuss his new book and how he set about researching the history of investment. His book— Investment: A History—spans 4,000 years, from ancient Mesopotamia to the modern hedge fund. “Amazingly enough, there has been almost nothing studying the long-term history of investment,” he told students and faculty in a Karp Hall session. “Investment is a very important activity, not just for economies and markets, but think about all the things it supports.” The book is largely about the democratization of investment. Many modern investors take for granted that until the 16th century, investment was a privilege only of the elite and noble classes, the author said. Reamer began the project in 2010 for personal fulfillment without any idea that a book would result. A professor at Harvard Business School suggested that, given the vast topic, Reamer would do well to employ 10 undergraduate research associates. One of them, Jesse Downing, is the book’s co-author. Reamer, a life trustee and former chairman of the Board of Trustees, founded and managed several successful investment firms. At Union, he was a double major in economics and electrical engineering. Reamer’s book appears in the Bookshelf section on page 30 of this issue.


| 37

the classes

James Kelley ’64 and his wife, Midge, at the completion of their Camino de Santiago


Jon Lechevet, Ph.D. 206 Cross Road Edmeston, N.Y. 13335-2610 jnlechevet@verizon.net Phillip L. Holt writes, “I’ve had a very varied career. Worked as a janitor during three of the four years at Union, supporting a growing family. Upon graduation started out as construction clerk and then operations manager for Spancrete Northeast. Then shifted to asst. to designer of men’s fashions at Cluett Peabody, maker of Arrow Shirts, thence to asst. to gen. mgr. of manufacturing, then regional (Penn.) in process control, all for Arrow, then industrial engineer for Dawn Joy Mfg, (junior dresses), Penn. Then motel owner, Brunswick Maine. Sold that and went into configuration management and change control for Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, building of frigates, guided missile cruisers and destroyers. Upon retirement took training in the Netherlands as a butler and served in that capacity for 10 years, before starting a company to buy, rehab, and sell residential property. Now enjoying semi-retirement and driving for Lyft and Uber.”

38 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

Alumni, including Richard Erdoes ’65, attended a pre-game event at Regina Pizzeria in Boston before the Union-Harvard hockey game in February.

Richard Erdoes writes, “Fifteen Union alums (14 Chi Psi's and one Sigma Chi from ’63-’68) gathered in Boston Feb. 1, for the skating Dutchmen’s clash with Harvard. With nine significant others in tow, the group included travelers from PA, MD, NY, NH, VT, VA and MA. Tom Hitchcock ’66 organized the event, which began with a get-together at Larry (’65) and Alexa (Skidmore ’69) McCray’s home in Lexington, followed by dinner at Regina Pizzeria and the game. Most of the group followed that up on Sunday with a Valentine’s Day brunch at Artistry on the Green. Everyone had a great time in spite of the record cold temperatures. Unfortunately our spirited support was not enough as the Crimson prevailed 4-1. Plans for next year and a victory are underway.”


Antonio F. Vianna 7152 Tanager Drive Carlsbad, Calif. 92011-5033 simpatico1@juno.com


Joseph Smaldino 6310 Lantern Ridge Lane Knoxville, Tenn. 37821 smaldinoj@comcast.net (815) 762-5984 Ronald Smith writes, “Enjoying the retired life in Arizona with my wife Helen. 2015 was our first full year of travel. We had a great year! A transatlantic cruise from Port Liberty to Barcelona on the new RC Quantum of the Sea last May. Travelled to London for a couple of days and then on to Dublin to begin our tour of Ireland and finished in Dublin for a couple more days before returning home. We went to two family weddings (Destin, Fla. and Philly) during the year. Visited our son Scott in Illinois twice. He’s the new head women’s soccer coach at Illinois College. Visited friends on Oahu, Hawaii in the fall and finished the year with a cruise down under to Australia/New Zealand in December on Celebrity’s Solstice. Fantastic trip. Great year of travel. In 2016 we’re doing a family trip to Alaska in May with our family and my sister’s family. A gathering of the cousins. We’re enjoying time with our two grandsons and the Arizona sun. We’re loving retirement!”

Alan Maddaus ’67

Alan Maddaus writes, “I’ve recently completed research for an article on the history of my childhood home in Galway, N.Y. Calvin Preston, MD and his wife, who built the home in 1838, were devout Presbyterians attracted to the rural village by a thriving congregation in a church where Eliphalet and Samuel Nott had supplied the pulpit. The Prestons were a remarkable family with seven children whose destinies were shaped by 19th century events including the Second Great Awakening, Civil War, opening of Nebraska and Northwest Territories, Gold Rushes, and growth of legal rights for the mentally disabled. One son, Charles, graduated from Union College in 1850 and became a missionary to China. Aside from historical research, I have continued engineering consulting, hiking in the Adirondacks, designed and built a composite beam for a home construction project, started a quest to master Chet Atkin’s version of Walk, Don’t Run on the classical guitar, and jog regularly on the Ogunquit, Maine beach.” Mary Jack Wald writes, “In 1967, as Mary Jack Light Lloyd, I graduated from Union College as the only full-time, female day student for the previous four years and (even

won the Allen Essay Award.) In addition, the faculty wives club (Minerva), was kind enough to choose me to be their president. I was allowed this fantastic opportunity because my husband at that time (Lemuel G. Lloyd) was an ROTC instructor at Union. We were living with our daughter, and eventually our son, in the only campus house, which was located next to the field house. My daughter, Danis, had the nicest and most literate baby sitters (the Union College students) and I, in return, chaperoned many a fraternity party on campus while doing my homework assignments. The opportunity to attend classes given by the excellent professors at Union led to a great education and wonderful career. I ended up in the publishing profession as an editor at Random House, Inc. and later running my own literary agency (Mary Jack Wald Associates, Inc.) representing many talented and inspiring authors. Now at 82 years old, I am retired from my profession but still in touch with many people in that field. Our daughter and her husband live in Larchmont and their two daughters live only a few blocks from us in NYC. Our son and his two daughters live in Los Altos Hills, Calif., but do get in to see us a few times a year. Life has been good to us. My days at Union are remembered with great joy.” Ben Wechsler, of Pittsburgh, Penn. and Kennebunkport, Maine fame, is hosting his 4th annual mini-ReUnion of the Nu Chapter of Beta Theta Pi in Kennebunkport for the classes 1962–1970, on the weekend of Sept. 23–25, 2016. Contact Ben at bbwex@ verizon.net



arry Newman ’67 did not write this piece. You should read it anyway. Newman has hooked readers of the Wall Street Journal with ledes (not “leads”) like that for more than four decades. He has written more than 400 features from more than 65 countries and most U.S. states. His stories have appeared like Easter eggs in a sprawling lawn of hard news under the front-page “A-Hed,” code for the Journal’s funny page. Some of his best pieces are amassed in a book, News to Me, each introduced with an essay explaining how he found the quirky, absurd or amusing topic and then convinced an editor to let him run. The book is at once a greatest hits collection and a ride-along for aspiring writers of the genre known as narrative non-fiction. “The platform for doing features is narrowing,” Newman said. “This book wraps up what I thought could be passed on to the next generation, like recipes for grandma’s meatballs, before they are lost forever.” If news comes along, Newman runs the other way. When his colleagues focus on the Mexican border, Newman goes to meet the man charged with clearing thickets to find the Canadian border between Quebec and Vermont. As the struggling U.S. Postal Service touts technology, Newman finds an office in Salt Lake City where hundreds of postal clerks sit in silence and decipher bad handwriting. When the Tea Party gains a foothold in American politics, Newman covers the genteel folks who prefer Earl Grey. Newman covers the outliers, but always with dignity: the man who uses a scythe to cut his grass, the woman who stalks celebrity funerals, the worker who extracts cooking

grease from New York City’s sewers. Newman came to Union from Rockaway, Queens, when he was only 16. A political science major, he took a memorable course in which Charles Gati taught the red light, green light theory of liberty. Years later, Gati, a refugee after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, would prove a valuable source when the reporter was covering Eastern Europe and the fall of communism. Newman also credits English professor Patrick Kilburn, who required daily journaling, for instilling in him a confidence to write. In his sophomore year, Newman became editor of Concordiensis. He spent summers as a stringer for the Albany Times Union. In 1966, he got 30 bylines in two months. “The idea that I could get a story in the paper was a revelation,” he recalls. He started as a copy boy for The New York Times the day after he graduated from Union, thanks in part to a profile he’d written for a business class with Prof. Joseph Finkelstein. Newman was careful to erase the grade, a “B,” before he submitted the paper to his Times interviewers. A reporter recalls the ideas that never took. On Newman’s list: professional whistlers, slug collectors, cement truck blasters, a proposed museum of sanitation. Covering non-ferrous metals for the Journal in the 1970’s, Newman had to read an abrasives-industry journal that annually celebrated an “Abrasive Man of the Year.” He kept that gem in mind for 35 years before requesting an audience with an “internationally renowned expert on grinding” for a story that would answer the question: “Is there friction in the grinding world?” He got no response.


| 39

the classes


John Dresser Etna, N.H. dresserdmd@myfairpoint.net


Ray Pike Salisbury, Mass. rnwpike@comcast.net George Cushing Delanson, N.Y. gcushing@nycap.rr.com Ray Pike, Salisbury, Mass., harbormaster, had a Union encounter on the job this past boating season. He writes, “Two of our assistant harbormasters were patrolling outside the mouth of the Merrimac River in northeastern Mass. waters, when they witnessed a 36-foot sailboat having difficulty. I joined them and boarded the sailboat with the owner and his wife. Once inside the river, the owner, Bill Watts ’67, asked me if I had gone to Union.We both started in September of 1963. Bill left Union, and is now an optometrist. I left Union but returned to join the Class of 1969, and 12 years ago retired from 20 years with GTE/ General Dynamics, after having taught school for 15 years. I hope to retire again, but my 11-year-old daughter has other thoughts. Bill and his wife were kind enough to send me a thank you note to the editor of the local newspaper, who also turned out to be another old Dutchman! John Macone ’86 has gone on from the Concordiensis to be editor of the Newburyport Daily News.”

40 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

Victor Lerish ’71 and his wife, Joanna, stand overlooking Machu Picchu in Peru with Steve Amira ’71 and his wife, Shelly.


Frank Donnini 239 Rushlake Ct. Newport News, Va. 23602-6348 fpdonnini@aol.com


Henry Fein, M.D. 1106 Cedrus Way Rockville, Md. 20854 hgfein@aol.com Edward “Ned” Dukehart writes, “St. Paul’s classmate and I double-handed a 38-ft. sloop from Baltimore to Charleston in November. The trip was preceded by a beautiful fall drive with my son, Ned, from Easton, Md., to Millbrook, Union, and Cooperstown. Caught win over BU in hockey. Daughter Tori, wife of Matt Eversmann of Black Hawk Down fame, has just published her first novel, The Immortals, a fictional account of the lives of Army wives in Sacket’s Harbor, N.Y., while their husbands are fighting in Iraq. Fun golf weekend at Bay Hill with John Spencer ’67, Gil Keegan ’68 and David Pittinos ’69. Life in Palm Beach selling real estate for Brown Harris Stevens is very agreeable and a big change from Alex Brown days in Baltimore.”

Bobcats spotted by veterinarian Gordon Ellmers ’71 in Easton, N.Y.

Victor Lerish writes, “Retired from full-time pediatric practice in 2014, now work part time for the fun of it. Getting to travel a lot more now, including a trip last October to Peru with my wife Joanna and classmate Steve Amira and his wife Shelly. Looking forward to ReUnion 2016 and getting together with my extended family of Union friends!” Gordon Ellmers writes, “I’ve been into wildlife photography for about 12 years now. I try to go out shooting every day. I’m a veterinarian who owns Fort Edward Animal Hospital in Fort Edward, N.Y. March 11, I took a drive along the Hudson River south of Fort Edward looking for bald eagles (on CR-113 in Easton), when I saw a bobcat in front of me on the right side of the road. He had just come out of the brush. I stopped 100 feet in front of him and grabbed one of the two cameras that I always carry with me on my passenger seat. I started taking photos right away. The bobcat looked beautiful through my lens! I could hear a truck coming up behind me, but I never turned around to look. Fortunately, the truck stopped. The bobcat walked across the road in front of me and stared into the brush. A second bobcat appeared from the brush on that side of the

road. I found out later that the first bobcat was a male and the second was a female. It was breeding season and the bobcats were looking to mate. The male wanted to see if the female was in heat and the female wanted to check out the male. Some playful growling went on for a few minutes. Then they both walked back across the road to where the male came from and disappeared into the brush. The whole encounter lasted about five minutes. My heart was pounding the whole time!”

1973 Steven Mills, executive vice president, software and systems, recently retired from IBM. He played a leading role in the growth of IBM Software Group since its inception in 1995 and under his leadership the company acquired over 30 software firms since 2001. He was appointed to his latest position in January last year. Prior to the role of executive vice president, Steven was senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software Group for 14 years. For the past three years, hardware and systems were added to his responsibilities.

1974 Bill Carmody, head coach of Holy Cross men’s basketball, led his team to a Patriot League championship title and a berth in the NCAA tournament with a 59-56 victory over Lehigh University on March 9. The 14-19 Crusaders beat Southern University (59-55) in the NCAA Tournament but lost to Oregon (91-52), ending their run.

Will Frank, son of Joseph D. Frank ’75 and Mary Giknis ’77, is ranked No. 1 nationally by the International Distance Skateboarding Association.

Cathy (Stuckey) Johnson writes, “Mark and I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in early 2015. Although our jobs take us to the N.Y./N.J. area often, where we can catch up with friends and other alumni. We enjoy living on the West Coast and don’t miss the winters. Our children and grandchildren are in San Francisco and Seattle, so this change in venue has allowed us to see them more often. We are slowly integrating into life in California and attended a Board Match event hosted at Google HQ in the spring and have each joined nonprofit boards to be involved locally.”

1975 Will Frank, son of Joseph D. Frank and Mary Giknis ’77, is ranked No. 1 nationally by the International Distance Skateboarding Association and is the 2015 Overall Men’s Champion for long distance skateboarding. Will is a quiet and determined athlete who began long distance skating during college. Will is sponsored by Don’t Trip, Organic Hogwash and is a member of the Shralpers Union. Will and his younger brother, Max, competed in the 2016

Joel Buckberg ’76

Ultraskate in Homestead, Fla. in February. Mom and Dad were there as the support crew. Robert Field writes, “I retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory in the fall of 2013. My wife, Angie, and I moved to Golden, Colo., where I am a research professor at Colorado School of Mines, managing the electron microscopy laboratory and teaching some occasional graduate level courses. Great to be in Colorado and back on a college campus.” Philip Mueller was recently featured in the Albany Times Union. The story focused on his April retirement from the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office, where he was promoted to chief assistant district attorney in 2008. Philip has worked as a prosecutor under District Attorney Robert Carney for 26 years.


Jill Schneier Wegenstein 228 Lexington Dr. Menlo Park, Calif. 94025 jwegenstein@gmail.com (650) 464-0083 Joel Buckberg has been named the first practice group leader of the law firm of Baker Donelson’s newly formed commercial transactions and business counseling practice

Marie Naple ’78, Nancy Westby Rothman ’78, Valerie Kilhenny Burton ’78, Wendy Hampton Carroll ’78 and Kristin Berry Baljon ’78 met at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station recently. With topics ranging far and wide, the common theme was gratitude for partners, parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, life’s experiences and friends— especially old friends.

group. Joel is a shareholder in the firm’s Nashville office, where he counsels clients on business transactions and operations. Prior to joining Baker Donelson, he was executive vice president and deputy general counsel of Cendant Corporation. He also serves as co-chair of the firm’s franchise and hospitality industry service team, has been listed in Best Lawyers in America in the area of franchise law since 2008 and was named the Best Lawyers’ 2014 Nashville Franchise Law “Lawyer of the Year.” A graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law and the Owen Graduate School of Management, Joel is formerly a trustee of Congregation Micah, serves as a trustee of the Immune Deficiency Foundation and is a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. William Fellows writes, “Having retired from UNICEF after 32 years, I find I am in more demand than ever with missions to Sierra Leone (cholera epidemic), Yemen (war), Kenya (drought), Iraq (war), Vanuatu (Cyclone Pam) and for the last six months Ukraine (war). Should have

known that when my wife gave me a briefcase as a retirement present I was in trouble.”

1977 H. Kirk Horstman and his wife, Patricia, have retired from their first careers and opened the Frederick Inn Bed and Breakfast in Buckeystown, Md.


Jeff Laniewski Jlaniew1@maine.rr.com

Cyteir Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based biopharmaceutical company, recently appointed Donald F. Corcoran as president and chief executive officer. He also joined the board of directors. Donald has over 30 years’ experience in life science companies with additional leadership and management positions at Hybridon, Inc., Schering Plough Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly and Company. He received an M.B.A. from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.


| 41

the classes

professional careers. I continue in my roles as chairman of the BuckleySandler law firm and CEO of Treliant Risk Advisors. Hoping for more time for skiing, golf, tennis and travel but still having too much fun with my diverse professional endeavors.” Janet Sasson Edgette ’78


Janet Sasson Edgette writes, “Still in Philadelphia suburbs with a solo private practice as a psychologist specializing in adolescents and families. My oldest son, Casey, is in Hong Kong working as an assistant producer of a recording studio, and was just invited to compose his first movie soundtrack. My two other boys, twins Jake and Austin, are juniors at the University of Hartford and Bloomsbury University, respectively. I enjoy writing and am working on my seventh book. Also still love riding, and have gotten back into that. Would love to reconnect with my Union friends!” Jeff Levine writes, “Same old, same old for Jeff Levine. Still director of academic affairs for a hospital system in N.J. My career, utilizing my Ph.D. in clinical psychology, was short-lived, opting for hospital administration over therapizing. Turned out to be a great move. Most of us turn 60 this year. How did that happen?! Always enjoy catching up with other old Unionites.”

1979 Andrew Sandler writes, “All good with the Sandler family. Our daughter Karna will be married to Matt Laubenstein on June 18. Karna, Mike and Jake all launched their 42 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

Richard Budd Stefan Zavodnika 25 971 01 Prievidza, Slovak Republic buddwick@hotmail.com Edward Scholl writes, “After 30 years as an analyst for the federal courts, I retired on Oct. 1, 2015. I will continue my travels and plan to accept a position as an adjunct professor at a local university.” Russell A. Davidson, managing principal and president of KG&D Architects in Mount Kisco, N.Y., was recently inaugurated as the 92nd president of the American Institute of Architects. Russell has held a multitude of elected positions within the AIA, including serving as president of AIA Westchester + Hudson Valley in 1999 and president of AIA New York State in 2007. He joined the AIA National Board in 2009 and served as AIA vice president from 2012-2013. Throughout his national leadership tenure, Russell has maintained a special focus on government and public advocacy for architects and architecture.

Brooks Pierce recently announced that Mack Sperling was recognized as an industry leader in the 2016 edition of North Carolina Super Lawyers for his work in business litigation. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers in more than 70 practice areas who

have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Robert A. Rosenfeld practices law in Manhattan (defending dentists), resides in the Hudson Valley, and along with his wife, Adrienne, passionately advocates and fundraises for the Anderson Center for Autism, from which his son, Bradley, receives adult services, housing, love and respect. If you too have an autistic child, are in need of autism-related advice/services, and/or are willing to contribute to Anderson Center for Autism please contact Rob at rrosenfeld@cuomollc.com. In addition, his daughter, Aly, is an actor appearing Off Broadway, at Lincoln Center and Joe’s Pub, on commercials, and as a principal voice-over actor in Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh. Dave Schwartz, a.k.a. “the Schwa,” is proud of his two sons, Steven and Adam, and their professional success. He writes, “Steven has been in institutional bond sales for KGS alpha for a number of years now after playing baseball at Vanderbilt University and receiving his MBA and BA from the SEC powerhouse. He was featured in the October 2005 Sports Illustrated issue of Faces in the Crowd. Our younger son, Adam, received his B.A./M.B.A. from Rollins College and the Crummer school, after which he became a serial entrepreneur, developing and manufacturing mobile apps and tech products. He founded the company and brand Freshetech, and Freedom Audio, and was featured in Forbes magazine last month in the Top 30 under 30 issue as a top manufacturer in the U.S. at 26 years old. Ellen and I are still

honeymooning after 32 years and got to hang out with Felicia and Marty Magida ’81, Dan and Helene Lacoff ’81, Barry Rosenberg ’81 and Jay Gilburne ’81, at the Rosenberg 10th annual Super Bowl party. It’s safe to say all the women looked more beautiful than ever and the guys are still breathing. Anyone I still owe money to can reach me @ sschwa8433@aol.com” Bob Wolper writes, “While the law practice still pays the bills, I’m having an absolute blast with my band, R&B, performing at bars, restaurants, coffee houses and clubs in the NY metro area…and beyond. Check out our Facebook page ‘RNBDUO’ and join us at a gig.” Michael MacKenty writes, “Retired a couple of years ago after a career as a global CIO for a variety of manufacturing and healthcare companies. My wife and I moved to Martha’s Vineyard full-time last May and have been enjoying the year around community. I’ve been pursuing my interest in woodworking and other

A promo from a recent R&B gig. Bob Wolper ’80 is a member of the band.


Cory Lewkowicz 74 Taylor St. Needham, Mass. 02494 corylewkowicz@gmail.com

Stu Cartwright ’81 and daughter Grace ’16

recreational activities. There still never seems to be enough time for all my hobbies!”


Alan Saler 17040 Magnolia Boulevard Encino, Calif. 91316 alan@alansaler.com Sally and Stu Cartwright had fun rooting their daughter, Grace ’16, and her team on in their Independent Women’s Club Hockey League. They write, “We saw Union wins at Boston University, University of New Hampshire and UMass Lowell. It’s an exciting league, organized by the women players. We met many nice Union parents and fans at these games played throughout New England. Union is well recognized on these campuses!”


Thomas Reynolds 3440 Powells Crossing Ct. Woodbridge, Va. 22193 Robert “Bob” Beard writes, “After 33 years living in Maryland, moved back to my mother’s hometown of Hamilton, N.Y. Love all the lakes around here and the simpler life—no rush hour! Took a job to get established, now building a new business.”

Junior Achievement of New Jersey announced recently that Christine Neely, vice president, Internal Auditing Services, PSEG Services Corporation, has been elected to its State Board of Directors. As vice president Christine is responsible for establishing annual audit plans for the corporation and overseeing independent reviews and evaluation of the company’s financial and operating controls, while ensuring the company’s compliance with Sarbanes Oxley and other key regulations. Recently, her role was expanded to include the corporate environmental, health and safety audit and environmental governance functions, internal audit services for PSEG Long Island and an additional team of ethics and compliance investigators. Christine is a graduate of New York Law School.


Kathleen Kozera Rowe 33 Fairway Ave. Delmar, N.Y. 12054-3332 Gary Wenner writes, “My eldest twins, Andrew and Christopher, graduated from Union this past spring along with their cousin, Matt (son of Russ Wenner ’83). We’ve had a blast going back to Union frequently over the past four years and re-connecting with the College. I am VP senior project manager for XL Catlin in Hartford, Conn., leading an $18M actuarial transformation program. My wife, Holly, and I have another son, Richard, who is a junior at Hamilton Spring 2016 UNION COLLEGE

| 43

the classes



t goes back to the founding of the country. If you read the debates at the Constitutional Convention, James Madison—the main framer—said the major concern of the society has to be ‘to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.’ If you look at the history of the United States it’s a constant struggle between these two tendencies.” Noam Chomsky—the man who uttered these words, the man known as America’s leading dissenter and one of the best intellectual minds of our time—once walked the campus of Union College. And changed the life of Peter Hutchison ’86. “Chomsky said that the biggest threat to our country was inequality and that if we didn’t get it in check, there would be serious consequences,” Hutchison said, recalling Chomsky’s talk in Old Chapel. “That was 30 years ago and it has spiraled out beyond even his expectations.” Hutchison began his academic journey in Schenectady as an engineering student, but soon discovered he was more interested in the creative side and decided to doublemajor in art and psychology. “For me, those four years were the most valuable, exciting and intellectual experiences of my life,” he said. “It opened up my mind and my life and I feel nothing but gratitude.” Now a New York City based producer and documentary filmmaker, Hutchison’s latest release—“Requiem for the American Dream”— comes full circle from that day so many years ago in Old Chapel. The documentary is a definitive discussion with Chomsky about that same issue he discussed at Union—the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of only a few. As such, a large part of the documentary focuses on class mobility: the idea that through determination, you can create your own wealth and rise from impoverished and unfortunate circumstances. This system,

44 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

Twin sons of Gary Wenner ’84—Andrew Union in June 2015, along with their

according to Chomsky, has collapsed and could result in a society without a middle class and a broken democratic system. In the trailer, Chomsky states, “Inequality is really unprecedented. It’s like the worst periods of American history, the effect of the concentration of wealth is to yield concentration of power. Not only is it extremely unjust in itself, inequality has highly negative consequences on the society as a whole because the very fact of inequality, has a corrosive, harmful effect on democracy. This is the result of over 30 years of a shift in social and economic policy completely against the will of the population.” “Requiem for the American Dream,” after four years of countless interviews, was released theatrically nationwide Jan. 29 and was launched on Netflix May 1. “He [Chomsky] deserved a film that could make him accessible to a new generation,” Hutchison said of the reason he worked so long and hard on the documentary. A partner at Brooklyn-based Naked City Films, Hutchison is a faculty member at the NYU Tisch School for the Arts. His work includes the feature-length documentaries “What Would Jesus Buy?”, “Awake Zion,” and “SPLIT: A Divided America.” For TV, he has produced/directed docudramas for Discovery ID and A&E. To learn more about him visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/phutch For more on “Requiem for the American Dream,” screenings and educational outreach programs, visit requiemforthe americandream.com

College and a son, Jeffrey, who is a sophomore in high school. We’ve caught up with a number of fellow alumni while visiting Union or attending one of the local sporting events when Union comes to Connecticut.” MusselBound, founded by Terry M. Jones, was recently featured in This Old House magazine. The company produces a white, doublesided adhesive mat that uses “peel & stick simplicity” to replace the mortar typically used in tiling projects, like kitchen backsplashes. To learn more visit www.thisoldhouse.com or www.musselbound.com


Jon Mathewson PO Box 1262 Middletown Springs, Vt. 05757-1262 Eric DeMarco writes, “The end of this school year will be 29 years teaching and coaching at Seymour High school in Conn. I am the social studies department chair. Recently won my 300th victory as a girls basketball coach.” Dr. Kathy Magliato’s book, Heart Matters: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon, is the basis for a new show on NBC, “Heartbeat.” The program

and Christopher—graduated from cousin, Matt, son of Russ Wenner ’83.

premiered March 23. To learn more about it, and Magliato— one of only a few female cardiothoracic surgeons in the world—visit http://www. kathymagliato.com/heartbreaker-show/

1986 The Bristol Sports Hall of Fame recently announced appointment of Reinhard Walker to its board of directors. He resides in Bristol, Conn., with his wife, Sandy, and their two sons, Reinhard and Harrison. He is employed as a mathematics teacher at Bristol Central High School. Reinhard attended Bristol Eastern High School. At Union, he played football and baseball.


Paul Malatesta 148 Washington Avenue Chatham, N.J. 07928 paul.malatesta@gmail.com Steven Hartman was recently appointed vice president and chief technology officer, engineering—Power Services for GE Power. Steven joined GE in 1998 and has held a series of leadership roles in GE Power. Before joining GE, he was the director of business development for Strategic Power Systems Inc.

Chris Hutchins ’86 became a grandfather on Nov. 25, 2015. His son, Robert Hutchins, and new grandson, Austin Matthew Hutchins, are pictured here.

Rob Sharp, co-CEO and owner of Ramy Brook, has been named to the advisory board of ICR, a strategic communications and advisory firm. As co-CEO of Ramy Brook, Ron leads one of the nation’s fastest growing contemporary fashion companies. He previously served as a private equity investor for 20 years, most recently as a senior partner and member of the Management Committee of MidOcean Partners. Rob received his MBA from Columbia University, where he was a Samuel Bronfman Fellow. Ken Lesnik has been named director of performing arts of the ticketing & fan engagement division of Spectra by Comcast Spectacor. Ken has nearly 30 years of experience in the ticketing and live entertainment industries, and has held key roles at numerous industry organizations where he led sales, marketing and business development. He previously served as vice president of business development at ScoreBig, Inc., a company that enables consumers to name their own ticket price to millions of sports and live entertainment events. Ken created and oversaw the company’s

Class of 1987 alumna celebrate their 50th birthdays

performing arts, theatre, attractions and family entertainment business. October 2015 brought seven Union friends from the Class of 1987 together to celebrate our 50th birthdays. The reunion was in Santa Fe, New Mexico and included Susan Neumann Lawler, Carolyn Feinstein Edwards, Rhonda Madoff Beninati, Sarah Calderini Nicoli, Ingrid Koch Hodgins, Jennifer Bednarz Cruger and Karen Deloye Monks.


Dana Rosen Isbitts 480 Alexandra Circle Weston, Fla. 33326 danaisbitts@gmail.com


Stephanie Spencer Wiggs 795 Watson Canyon Ct., Apt 356 San Ramon, Calif. 94582 bodyforpilates@aol.com

1990 Ben Davidson writes, “In the fall, I had the great pleasure of seeing theatre professor Barry Smith at his lovely home in Pennsylvania. We have been corresponding for some time about good books and articles he sends me from time to time. But seeing him in person was a feast of emotion, laughter, and learning. Sitting in

Matt Hopkins writes, “After leading the launch of a school start-up seven years ago, we (my wife Tammy, our 9 kids, and I) are moving out of Alplaus to be closer to the school (in Mechanicville). It has been a great ride and we are looking forward to the next phases of the school’s development.” Tina Sciocchetti, former assistant United States attorney and most recently, executive director for test security, data privacy, and educator integrity at the New York State Education Department has joined Nixon Peabody as a partner.

Andy Albert ’89 writes, “I was at the Union vs. Dartmouth hockey game in December with my family (Lauren, Sydney and Sophie) and Stephan Jaeger ’89 and his family Sue and Sophie). We took this great picture of the kids—(from left) Sydney Albert, Sophie Albert and Sophie Jaeger. Spring 2016 UNION COLLEGE

| 45

the classes



ig money sports wasn’t always that way. In the late 1950s, Arnold Palmer was supplementing his meager golf earnings with a $500 endorsement fee from Heinz ketchup. Things began to change in 1960 when a Cleveland lawyer-turned sports agent named Mark McCormack signed Palmer as a client and moved his off-the-course annual income from $5,000 to $500,000. Matt Futterman ’91, who covers sports for the Wall Street Journal, chronicles in detail the sports revolution and those who led it in a new book, Players: The Story of Sports and Money, and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution. (See Bookshelf on p. 31) The book was born when an editor at Simon & Schuster asked Futterman to write a biography of McCormack’s sports agency, IMG. Futterman saw a larger story about IMG as the launching point for what he calls “the creation of the world’s most captivating industry.” Among his best sources were the late McCormack’s documents, numbering around 2.5 million, Futterman said. He also knew the late Marvin Miller, who led the powerful MLB Players Association, and “welcomed reporters to his living room on the Upper East Side for the greatest seminars anyone could ever have.” Among Futterman’s most interesting findings, Miller had to convince baseball players that free agency would be a good thing. “They told him they were worried that if they ever won the right to free agency and were out of their contracts they would be unemployed,” he said. “Owners had brainwashed them not to believe in the free market. Miller had to unwind that.” Futterman honed his writing chops at Union, where creative writing with Jordan Smith and American literature with Brenda Wineapple “never felt like school.” Classical logic with Stanley Kaminsky, which he took as a requirement, also turned out to be a favorite class.

46 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

He was editor of Idol, the literary journal, whose members met weekly to read each other’s work. “I’m sure an outside observer would have seen it as mighty pretentious, but it was just a really safe environment to try to figure out how to write, which I probably wasn’t very good at.” At Union, he played rugby his freshman year, but after some injuries found tennis better suited to his 145-pound frame, an 0-8 singles record his senior year notwithstanding. Also in his senior year, he argued against the College’s eventual decision to join Div. I men’s hockey. When Union made the Frozen Four in 2012, he wrote in the Journal that, two decades after an effort that was in part aimed at impressing women, he was on “the wrong side of history.” “I suppose there are worse reasons to believe in something, and well, I was 20-years-old,” he said. After Union, he wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Newark Star-Ledger, where he was part of a team that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. He earned a master’s in journalism from Columbia University. His favorite team? U.S. women’s soccer. “They fly coach. They don’t make much money. All they want to do is win and create another generation of great American female soccer players. I love watching my wife and daughters watch that team. They feel so empowered by them. That’s unique.” Futterman, a self-described frustrated athlete, has become an avid marathoner. “I think it’s about the idea of trying to get faster as I get older, racing that clock, which is so relentless, and trying to win the one battle that is unwinnable for all of us, the one against time.”

his library, surrounded by the bells, pillows, and photographs that used to decorate his office at the top of the Nott, I felt like I was 21 years old again—just a young student in his Improv class. What a great and unique school Union was and is. I really didn’t realize that until this visit with Barry and things he told me about the school that I had never really thought about. I would love to hear from fellow alumni, including any other Improv students.” Jennifer (Trotts) Fein writes, “After a year off to travel the world and improve my Mandarin (加我在微信: 范珍珍) I am settled in Melbourne, Australia. This year I will marry a fellow migrant to Australia. You can read our story in the blog link. I am also building an event-centered travel planning platform called YouLi that will make travel planning fun for customized group travel.” https://newdawnwedding. wordpress.com/2016/01/18/5reasons-we-decided-to-getmarried-in-jordan-in-2016/

After many years as an editor at The New Yorker, John Donohue left the magazine in the fall of 2015. Building on his success publishing cartoons there, as well as on his illustrations in his 2011 best-selling anthology, “Man with a Pan: Culinary Adventures of Fathers who Cook for their Families,” and embracing his lifelong love of drawing, he is making art and can be found at www.johndonohue. com. He looks forward to touring the Feigenbaum Center for Visual Arts when it is completed.


Daniel Crosby 15 Howlett St. Topsfield, Mass. 01983 dcrosby@kslaw.com Jay Freeland announced he will step down as president and chief executive officer and member of the board of directors of FARO Technologies, which develops 3-D measurement, imaging and realization technology. After serving in this role for 11 years, he is leaving to pursue other business and personal interests. Previously, Jay served as president and co-chief executive officer of the company from January 2006 to December 2006, and as president and chief operating officer of the company from November 2004 to January 2006. He began his career at General Electric Company in its financial management program in 1991, spent four years on GE’s corporate audit staff and served in financial, business development, strategic planning, sales and operational management roles of increasing responsibility. He was general manager of strategic initiatives, VP of sales and marketing, and president of the Energy Controls business, until 2003. Peter Cowles was recently featured in the Daily Voice. The story focused on the small brewery and tap room—Aspetuck Brew Lab—that he and his wife, Tara, recently opened in Bridgeport, Conn. To learn more visit http:// bridgeport.dailyvoice.com or www.aspetuckbrewlab.com Brooks Pierce recently announced that Alex Elkan was recognized as an industry leader in the 2016 edition of North Carolina

Super Lawyers for his work in environmental litigation. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers in more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Tobin “Toby” Overdorf writes, “After leaving Union I traveled to the Florida Keys and started a career in the natural environment. I moved to Palm City, Fla., in 1995 and soon after started my own firm, Crossroads Environmental. I live here with my wife and daughter and have found a way to get paid while walking in the woods, snorkeling, boating and more.” Matthew Guenther, has been promoted to managing partner of GenNx360 Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm. Matt joined the firm in 2007 and has served as a leading partner on several highly successful GenNx360 investments, including Precinmac, Vertex Group Ltd. (Vertex), Salford Group (Salford), Tooling Technology Group (Tooling Tech) and Vintage Parts. Additionally, Matt serves a critical role helping to drive the portfolio’s growth strategy. Prior to joining GenNx360, Matt was responsible for new investments and portfolio management at Walden Capital Partners LP. He earned his B.A. in history from Union and an M.B.A. in finance and international business from Columbia Business School. David Kohl writes, “After nearly 25 years consulting with respected firms like PwC and EY, I left the world of ‘big company’ consulting to launch my own advisory firm, Morgan Digital Ventures.

We’re a growth strategy and operations consulting firm that grows digital businesses, and we focus exclusively on media, entertainment and communications companies as clients. Over the years, I had been told by many advisors just how hard launching a company would be. I can attest that everything they said is true, but I can also say that since hanging a shingle a little over a year ago, I’ve had some of the most rewarding experiences of my entire career. And I’ve already connected with a few Union alumni who have been eager to tap into my experience, and with whom I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work.”


Stephanie Fray Apartment 7 D 10 West End Avenue New York, N.Y. 10023-7828 sfray1@gmail.com

Peckar & Abramson, P.C. recently promoted Scott Kearns to partner. Throughout his career, Scott has represented and counseled general contractors, construction managers, owners, subcontractors and design professionals in connection with a broad range of construction disputes before the state and Federal Courts, and at arbitration and mediation. A former assistant district attorney and long-time civil litigator, he has substantial trial experience. Scott received his law degree from the Fordham University School of Law. Stephanie Davis was recently appointed deputy commissioner of policy and communications at the New York State Division of Homes and Community Renewal. Her new position was one of several

appointments to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration. Since 2003, Stephanie has worked at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, where she held positions as regional vice president of communications for the Utica region and director of communications for the Southern Tier. She also is former chair of the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs and Economic Development Council. From 1992 to 2003, Stephanie held multiple roles working for the state Senate. Brendan Clifford writes, “My wife, Debbie, and I and our two boys, Connor (10) and Dylan (9), are doing well in Derry, New Hampshire. We are spending a great deal of time at hockey rinks throughout New England these days, but we are enjoying it. The career is going well too with a recent promotion to vice president, deputy general counsel at my company, RiverStone Claims Management LLC. Best wishes to everyone.”


Jill Bernstein 201 East 77th Street #3B New York, N.Y. 10028 jilldbernstein@yahoo.com (212) 535-4267 Troy Grabow has been named general counsel and vice president of intellectual property for Cabeau, which offers travel products like compression socks, sleep masks, travel blankets and on-the-go gear. Previously, he was with Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett, & Dunner in Washington, D.C., where he was a partner primarily focusing on patent enforcement and prosecution. He earned his J.D. degree


| 47

the classes


Betsy Phelps Seplowitz 104 Tompion Way Ballston Spa, N.Y. 12020 bseplowitz@yahoo.com

Children of Stacie Jordan Brenkovich ’93 and Maria Bruno Warner ’94

from George Washington University Law School. Stacie Jordan Brenkovich writes, “Our son Matthew stated kindergarten in the fall and is loving it! Our daughter turns 3 in March and I am still at Accenture in the social collaboration space. We spent a wonderful fall weekend with Maria Bruno Warner’s family, class of 1994!”

Larry Cote ’94

District for the 2015-2016 school year. The year has been great so far and I’m living the dream.”


Caroline Paine Pannhorst 32 Nottingham Way North Clifton Park, N.Y. 12065 cpannhorst@msn.com

Jennifer (Ricci) Haver, James Haver, Greta (August) Nathan ’95 and Gregg Nathan visited campus with their families in September 2015, “to share with our children the place where we all met and became lifelong friends. It was a beautiful day, the kids loved the campus and were excited to think that they could possibly someday attend school there, only they joked that they would already be friends!” Nicole (Beland) Zeman is editorial director at Omada Health, a company that

1994 The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP recently announced that Washington, D.C. office managing partner Larry Cote has joined the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s board of directors. Larry co-leads the firm’s DEA Compliance & Litigation Practice Group. He represents and advises manufacturers, wholesale distributors, pharmacies, hospitals, and individual practitioners on the full array of compliance matters relating to their obligations under the Controlled Substances Act and Drug Enforcement Administration regulations. He received his law degree from Albany Law School. Amy Scruton writes, “I was named principal of Willard Intermediate School in the Santa Ana Unified School 48 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

Children of Jennifer ’96 and James Haver ’96, and Greta ’95 and Gregg Nathan ’96, visit Union. From left, they are: Chase Haver, Christian Haver, Madison Nathan, Jonah Nathan and Colby Haver.

creates digital therapeutics (OmadaHealth.com and PreventNow.com). Andrea “A.Z.” Zaremba Diamond writes, “My husband (Ted Diamond, USNA ’96) and I were really looking forward to my 20th this year, but alas… we are expecting our first baby the weekend of ReUnion. Sending best wishes to everyone there, especially the Class of 1996 and hope to see everyone at the next one!”


Sara Amann Garrand 367 Schauber Road Ballston Lake, N.Y. 12019 sgarrand1@nycap.rr.com Adam Richman writes, “At the beginning of 2015, my family and I moved from Connecticut to Northern California’s Bay Area for my wife, Katie, to begin a new job at Facebook. I am continuing my work with ESPN, working remotely out here in San Francisco in business development for ESPN Digital Radio. It’s been a blast being on the ground working with the new products and tech in Silicon Valley, and our sons Aden (9) and Sam (8) are loving the amazing weather. We are adjusting to the California culture, and I’ve been able to reconnect with my old friend Arielle Lieberman as well who lives in SF. Any Union alums in the Bay Area should feel free to contact me to catch up!”

Needham High School assistant principal Aaron Sicotte was promoted to principal (starting July 1). Aaron, who received a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in teaching from Union College, began his career teaching English in the Framingham public schools. He then served

Boyd Collar Nolen & Tuggle recently announced that Brooke French has been recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyer for 2016 in the area of family law. Only five percent of the lawyers in Georgia are selected as Super Lawyers.

Adrian MacLean Jay ’98 and her family have a new puppy named Dutch, complete with a Union dog collar.

Daniel Lewis ’98


as a teacher and assistant principal at Guilderland High School in New York before coming to Needham.

Kellie Forrestall BeeBee 360 First St. Lowell, Mass. 01850 forrestkj@hotmail.com




Ryan T. Smith, MBA ’00 284 Sussex Circle Jupiter, Fla. 33458 rsmith@thebenjaminschool.org Daniel A. Lewis, an attorney at Hatcher Law Group in Charlotte, N.C., was selected as a 2016 Rising Star by North Carolina Super Lawyers, a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. This marks the second year Daniel has been the recipient of this honor. He focuses his practice on a wide variety of family law matters including divorce, child custody, child support, property distribution, alimony and domestic violence. He represents clients in litigation, mediation and the Collaborative Law process. Daniel earned his JD in 2002 from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.


Erika Newell 4842 Bayard Blvd. Bethesda, Md. 20816 Mike Votto, CEO of Votto Vines, was recently interviewed by Wine & Spirits Daily. The Q&A focused on the successful and rapid growth of Votto Vines. In 2010, the wine importer had $250,000 in sales—in November, it was projecting $8 million for 2015.


Erin (Aloan) Grogan 143 Streeter Hill Road West Chesterfield, N.H. 03466 erinlgrogan@gmail.com Anne Blankman’s second novel, Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Balzer+Bray/ HarperCollins) was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. The book was also named a Perfect Ten (i.e. one of the best of the year) by VOYA, a major trade review journal. Anne and her husband, Mike Cizenski, recently moved to Richmond, Va., with their 7-year-old daughter, Kirsten, when Mike accepted a position as a utilities engineer with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Anne, Mike, and Kirsten love Richmond and all it has to offer.

Lesli Flick, owner of Scratch Baking in Milford, Conn., was recently featured in the Milford Mirror. The story focused on her business, which was recently named “best local bakery” by FlipKey, a subsidiary of TripAdvisor. Read more at www.milfordmirror.com Amanda Votto recently opened a new business, the Divine Within. Dedicated to the practice of mindfulness, it also offers information on meditations, events, books and other tools of self-discovery and awareness. Visit divinewithin.me/divine-within/ for more information.

The second novel by Anne Blankman ’01 was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award

Daniel Flint ’02 with his fiancé and children.


Gina L. Campanella GinaLC702@yahoo.com Andrew J. Kestner recently joined the law firm Langrock Sperry & Wool, LLP as an associate in the Burlington office, working primarily in the area of family law and probate litigation. He also handles family law appeals and professional responsibility matters. Prior to joining the firm, Andy was a senior associate at a boutique practice in Boston, where he focused primarily on complex, high net worth and highprofile family law and estate matters. Andy has twice been named a Rising Star by Boston Magazine’s Super Lawyers edition and New England Super Lawyers in the field of Family Law for 2014 and 2015. He is a graduate of Villanova University School of Law. Daniel “Guy” Flint writes, “Wow, it seems like forever ago since I was walking past the Nott on my way to class or catching a quick breakfast at West Dining Hall. I have so many great memories at Union, especially first-floor Davidson Hall and Fox Hall with great friends. Well, as for me, I am continuing to educate young people at Westside High School here in Jacksonville. I recently got Spring 2016 UNION COLLEGE

| 49

the classes

with Halloran & Sage LLP, a full-service law firm with offices in Hartford, Danbury, Middletown, New Haven, New London and Westport, Connecticut, and a branch in Washington, D.C.

Colleen Parent ’02 and her family

divorced three years ago, which was hard for me and my kids. But you know some times you have to go through hardship to find greatness. I have found it in my fiancée. We are getting married this summer in Medora, N.D. So very excited.” Pete Corritori writes, “I am living and working in New York City, and would like to announce that my girlfriend and I are expecting a baby boy in August. We are very excited for the arrival of our first child.” Dan Kirsch writes, “I’m an associate professor of political science at Valley Forge Military College in suburban Philadelphia, and am writing a book on the politics of student loan debt, to be released in 2017. I’m also active in the Caucus for a New Political Science and the American Association of University Professors. I was married in 2012, and my wife Morgan is a minister at a local church. We just returned from a trip through India in January, where we visited 11 cities in 20 days. I missed the 10-year ReUnion, but I look forward to seeing everyone at the 15-year ReUnion.” Colleen Parent writes, “I have just recently moved back to Guilderland with my family, where I work for Latham 50 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

Guida (Estrela) Mattison ’02, Bryn (Conklin) Rogers ’02 and Sara (Dietrich) McGowan ’02 all had baby girls this year. Best friends already! Scarlett Spina Mattison was born July 12, Violet Mary Rogers was born November 25 and Alice Rose McGowan was born November 15.

Medical Group. We are very excited to be close to our families again!” Meghan Wood writes, “Over the summer I enjoyed a mini Union ReUnion when Jacqueline Jordan married Jamie Obletz. In attendance were a few 2002 graduates: Gigi Greenwood MacMullan, Chace MacMullan, Nate Peck, Jane Kaplan Peck, Jill Laudin Morris, Amanda Comunale, J.R. Fowler, Genevieve Moran, 2001 grad Lauren Thistle Gargulio and ’03 graduate Lissie Grace Waugh. Looking forward to a busy 2016 and I miss all my Union bffs!”


Katrina (Tentor) Lallier 50A Locust Street Danvers, Mass. 01923 katrina@alumni.union.edu Oscar Suarez was recently selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers’ 2015 Rising Stars List. Super Lawyers is a nationally accredited rating service of lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Oscar works

Adrian Bardet writes, “After graduating I moved back home to San Francisco to pursue my BFA. I joined a tech startup and eventually met my future wife, Jackie (Bentley ’06). At the end of 2011 we moved to Charlotte, N.C. to be closer to my family business that I had joined a few years prior to our move. The business, now 95 years old, specializes in industrial manufacturing and engineering for the power generation industry. But most importantly, my wife and I are thrilled to announce the birth of first child, Reese Marie Bardet, who arrived on Dec. 29, 2015.”

2004 Ethan Blum writes, “I am the NYC advocacy chairman for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Please visit our website at www.pancan.org to see how you can help make a meaningful difference against this devastating disease. I also work in the capital markets group at Avison Young, raising debt and equity for investors and developers. On the weekends I can be found assisting Sam Hinkie in player analytics for the Philadelphia 76ers or acting like Larry David and getting looks from my wife (Cheryl).”


Andrea Doenges andrea.doenges@gmail.com


Sarah Heitner sarah.t.heitner@gmail.com Ruth Fasoldt was recently named a 40 under 40 New York City Rising Star by City & State magazine. Ruth is business development manager at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. She holds a master’s degree from Simmons College. Emily Blout has been hired as a lecturer at the Media Studies and Politics Departments at the University of Virginia. A Ph.D. candidate at University of Saint Andrews, she will be teaching two courses on mass media in modern Iranian history and politics, while she prepares to defend her dissertation this June. Her husband, Mike Signer, was recently elected mayor of the city of Charlottesville, where they live with their twin 1-1/2 year old sons. Alissandra Stoyan and Cory Spicer moved to Manhattan, Kan.—the “Little Apple”—in the summer of 2015. They both work at Kansas State University, where Ali is an assistant professor of political science and Cory is an IT consultant. Ali earned her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a focus on comparative and Latin American politics. Cory and Ali are engaged and are very excited to be getting married at Union in December 2016.


Nick Salvatoriello nick.salvatoriello@gmail.com Michael P. Mastroianni earned his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the Univer-

family law. They are new puppy parents as well to Lilly, a soft coated wheaten terrier.


Dana Cohen Bernstein 250 E. 63rd Street, Apt. 1001 New York, N.Y. 10065 dana.lynn.cohen@gmail.com Michael P. Mastroianni ’07

sity at Albany, State University of New York in May 2015, after successfully defending his dissertation titled “Explaining Participation: An Explanatory History of Select Gender Patterns in Undergraduate STEM.” While at the University at Albany, Mastroianni was awarded a 2013-2014 Dissertation Research Fellowship Award, and was the recipient of the 2012 Dr. H. Craig Sipe Science Education Scholarship. Mastroianni interned with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in Washington, D.C., as well as with the New York State Education Department in Albany. In June 2013 Mastroianni contributed to “Writing Instruction That Works: Proven Methods for Middle and High School Classrooms,” which was published through Teachers College Press. Mastroianni now works in the education unit of the New York State Division of the Budget. James ’06 and Casey Duchesne live in Arlington, Virginia. They are both attorneys, both having graduated from Catholic University, the Columbus School of Law. James is an associate at DLA Piper in Washington, D.C. in the technology and sourcing group, and Casey is an associate at the Hopkins Law Firm in Gainesville, practicing


Meredith Crawford ’10 and Andrew Scaplen ’09


Gabe Kramer 123 North Arden Blvd. Los Angeles, Cali. 90004 kramerg3@gmail.com Carl Winkler 201 West 70th Street, Apt 28 L New York, NY 10023 carl.s.winkler@gmail.com Sebastian Dumonet was recently named as one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 for Food and Drink, and as one of Eater’s Top Young Gun’s. He is director of operations at Joel Robuchon Restaurants, where he oversees L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon and Joel Robuchon Restaurant. Learn more at http://www.forbes. com/30-under-30-2016/ food-drink/ and http://www. eater.com/a/young-gunssummer-2015 James A. Schwabach recently became engaged to Katherine E. Vodra. Katherine is a graduate of the University of Delaware and is employed as the volunteer program manager for Charlotte Family Housing, Charlotte, N.C. James obtained his master’s degree in sports psychology from Ithaca College. He is a mental skills coordinator with the Tampa Bay Rays minor league affiliates. A June wedding is planned in Charlotte. Brad Horth is director of athletics at Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, Mass. Previously,

he was an English teacher and an assistant coach for multiple sports teams at St. Joseph. Brad holds a master's in sports leadership from Northeastern University. Malcolm Thayer Dennison splits his time between Boulder, Colo. and Boston, Mass. As a newly-promoted Windows Vista expert at AcuStream, Malcolm leads a database development team focused on evangelizing the continuum transfunctioner’s use in healthcare processing. Malcolm reports he remains an avid collector of taxidermied long-tailed species of Rodentia, and while in Boulder competes in local bike polo and live action role playing events. Charles D. Bennett recently participated in his 4th consecutive Federal Duck Stamp Contest, this year entering a drawing of a Red-throated Diving Loon. Charles resides in the Union Square neighborhood of New York City, where he recently became engaged to Marie Catillaz (William Smith '10), whom he met on the Central Europe Partnership for Global Education Term Abroad. Charles is an active member in both the Northeast Estuary Society and the New York Single Speed Biking Coalition.

Jake Anderson ’11 and Sam Barstow ’11, founders of Forsake Footwear, returned to campus in January. After graduation, the duo started their own shoe line following a very successful Kickstarter campaign. The company took off and has been expanding ever since. Jake and Sam discussed how Union prepared them to be entrepreneurs and ultimately start and grow their business. Their talk was part of the Alumni Speaker Series.


Ewo Harrell Orlando, Fla. (407) 506-3713 ewo.harrell@gmail.com Alexandra Vacin writes, “I received my masters in nursing in November 2015. I work at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the number 1 rehab hospital in the nation.” Meredith Crawford writes, “This past June 2015 I got engaged to Andrew Scaplen ’09. Although we both attended Union, we did not really meet until life after Union, thanks to a mutual friend’s birthday party. After several years of dating he snuck me away to Newburyport, Mass. to enjoy a romantic dinner for two. We dined inside the actual light of the Rear Range Lighthouse, until he asked me outside onto the catwalk of


| 51

the classes


Courtesy of Adam DeTour Photography


ver think about what makes food special? The actual story of what you’re eating? Erin Bligh ’10 does. The tale of food going from farm to table is one she’s living as owner-operator of Dancing Goats Dairy in Newbury, Mass. Her story, and that of the goat cheese she makes, began at Union. A double major in political science and French, Bligh appreciated that she constantly learned new things from many different people on campus, like those she met in Ozone House. “It was an amazing collection of people and they made me think about things that I never would’ve even dreamed of,” she said of the theme house, which brings together environmentally conscious students. “I got very swept up in it.” She also became a habitual customer of Schenectady Green Market. Bligh loved talking to vendors there and buying local, fresh products. And she loved—sometimes to her own

52 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

surprise—trying new things, both in Schenectady and abroad. While studying in Rennes, France, her host mother made a plate of blue cheese (which she assumed she would despise since she had grown up on Land O’ Lakes). Bligh remembers that moment like it was yesterday—it was then she realized she wasn’t going pursue a standard career. “I thought, ‘Oh my god, this is the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted in my entire life,’” Bligh said. “It completely revolutionized how I wanted to eat. Not only did I want to eat something fresh, I wanted to eat something that I could make myself, and I wanted to make something that was as good as all these things that I was tasting.” After graduation, living in Boston with her father, she decided to enroll in a farm internship program (similar to WWOOF) that provides room and board in return for labor. She spent three months as a kidding intern (delivering baby goats), then seven months as a cheese-making assistant at Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlet, Vt., where she discovered she wanted to farm goats for the rest of her life. In January 2012, Bligh began renting her farm in Newbury and raising her own goat herd (starting with two she was able to take with her from Consider Bardwell). By 2015, she was milking 14 goats and selling her products (cheese, caramel, fudge and soap) at her farm stand, local stores and farmers markets. Its success that still seems a little surreal. “I have moments where I look around and think, ‘I built this, this is my life,’” Bligh said. “It’s spectacular and so gratifying.” Particularly because she’s living—and telling—the story of food through her artisan products, which people are happily gobbling up around the Newbury region. To learn more about Dancing Goats Dairy, visit www.dancinggoatsdairy.com


Jerri Miller ’14 is pictured in the Serengeti in Tanzania. She worked in Arusha as a medical volunteer for 3 months in the fall of 2014.

the lighthouse and proposed! We’re both very excited and looking forward to our August 2016 wedding in Portland, Maine.”


Cassandra Skoufalos cassandra.skoufalos@gmail.com


Anna Meiring annameiring@gmail.com

Courtesy of Miss Chee

Brittany Gilbert was included in the article “21 Under 31: Young Artists to Watch in 2015” in the September issue of Southwest Art magazine. The article is also published online at http://www. southwestart.com/ featured/21-under-31-youngartists-to-watch-in-2015. See more of her artwork and learn about upcoming shows at www.BrittanyRGilbert.com.


Courtesy of Adam DeTour Photography


Cristina Vazzana vazzanaca@gmail.com

Ashley Johnston and Shenae Lundberg ’15 are making history playing in the inaugural season of the National Women’s Hockey League. Both women play for the New York Riveters, Ashley on defense and Shenae in goal. Read more in the Times Union newspaper at http://www.timesunion.com/ tuplus-local/article/Historymade-by-two-former-Unionhockey-players-6721133.php Joe Bradlee and Emily Crandall, both political science majors in the Class of 2014, attended the 2016 GOP debate in New Hampshire, where they met Donald Trump and his wife, Melania.


Kelsey Carroll kelsey.carroll12@gmail.com Lindsey Hunt was recently featured in the Berkshire Eagle. The story focused the senior thesis she wrote at Union about homelessness and her work with this vulnerable population in her hometown of Pittsfield, Mass. At the time the article was written, Lindsey was employed by the Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

The work of Teddy Benfield and John Hai Famulare was recently featured in the Washington Art Association’s annual “Young Talent” exhibition. A painter from Mystic, Conn., Teddy’s heavy impasto borrows from Post-Expressionist painting. John, from Little Falls, N.Y., has exhibited his portraits throughout New York State.


| 53

the classes

S T U DY I N G C L I M AT E C H A N G E TO H E L P T H E W O R L D By Molly Congdon ’12


hat are we going to do when a country like Bangladesh goes underwater? How are we going to deal with regions becoming more arid? The issue of climate change can’t be ignored, Erin Delman ’12 argues, it’s something that could dramatically alter the geopolitical future. But there isn’t an easy solution to this matter. “The entire world needs to deal with the issue as a collective whole,” Delman said. “I think it’s going to require a patchwork strategy that uses multi-faceted approaches in different countries and regions.” As a Ph.D. candidate in her fourth year at the University of California, Irvine, she is doing her best to be part of this complicated solution. A member of Dr. Charlie Zendor’s research group, “I focus on how the human dimension contributes to the climate problem; on the relationship between climate change and conflict,” she said. “I operate at the intersection of climate and environment and national security.” During her years at Union, Delman immersed herself in two majors, geology and Latin American studies. Outside of academics, she was also heavily involved in the sustainability mission on campus, participating in U-sustain and Ozone House. “I started in the environmental science department and then I took a geology class and appreciated the quantitative nature of the subject,” Delman said. “I also thought it would provide the necessary fundamentals to be an effective environmental scientist.” This past October, she returned to her undergraduate stomping grounds and spoke to a group of students and staff on campus about the problematic issue of climate change.

54 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

She discussed the complexities that come with it, specifically the fact that many countries that are vulnerable to climate change also benefit from burning fossil fuels (a primary cause of climate change). “Climate change is a problem for many reasons. I focus on the cultural and societal, but it’s also a problem biologically because we are seeing substantial extinction rates and changes in ecosystems,” Delman said. “It’s going to dramatically change the way the world looks.” As she continues on her path and works to find answers to this worldwide problem, Delman is reminded of how well Union prepared her. “I developed necessary leadership skills and I can’t explain how amazing the geology and Latin American studies departments were in my evolution as a student,” she said.


Peyton Brandt Kriegel (Wood ’02)

Preston Kessler Schoen (Schoen ’02)

Adelyn Cathy Davis (Davis ’03)

Liliana Catherine ZwickerRosado (Zwicker ’03)

Reese Marie Bardet (Bardet ’03)

Elizabeth Louise, left, and Emma Jean Lallier (Lallier ’03)

Callahan Thomas Bodden (Bodden ’03)

Ava Elizabeth Kissane (Kissane ’07)


Jordan and Katie Schoen recently welcomed a baby boy. Preston Kessler Schoen was born Jan., 12, 2016, weighing in at 5 pounds, 12 ounces.

Adrian Bardet and his wife, Jackie, are proud to announce the birth of their first child, Reese Marie Bardet, who arrived Dec. 29, 2015.


New York publicists Brad Zeifman and Lisette SandFreedman, who co-founded Shadow PR in 2007, welcomed Chloe James Zeifman Sept. 18, 2015 at New York– Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She weighed 5 pounds, 12 ounces, and joins big brother Dylan, who was 2 in December.

2002 Meghan Wood writes, “2015 was a busy year. Shane Kriegel and I not only completed construction on the home we designed but we welcomed the birth of our daughter, Peyton Brandt Kriegel, Jan. 6, 2016.”

2003 Lauren (Selchick) Davis writes, “My husband, Brendon, and I got married May 25, 2014 and we welcomed our beautiful baby girl, Adelyn Cathy Davis, to the world May 12, 2015. She was born in Albany, N.Y., where I am working as a senior attorney for a New York State agency.”

Liliana Catherine ZwickerRosado was born on Feb.15, 2016, at 2:46 a.m. to Portia Zwicker and Michael Rosado. Her maternal grandfather is Prof. William Zwicker of the Union College math department.

Katrina (Tentor) Lallier and Matthew Lallier are thrilled to announce the newest additions to their family. Identical twins girls Elizabeth Louise (5 pounds, 12 ounces, 18.25 inches) and Emma Jean (6 pounds, 13 ounces, 19.5 inches) were born full-term on Dec. 16, 2015 in Boston. Madeline Scott (22 months older) is very proud to show off her “babies.”

Deirdre and A.J. Bodden proudly welcomed their son, Callahan Thomas, Oct. 22, 2015.

Jacob Wolff and his wife, Lauren, welcomed Ellis James Oct. 26, 2015. The family resides in Mountain Lakes, N.J.

2007 Michael Kissane and Mary Elizabeth (Larkin) Kissane write, “Our daughter, Ava Elizabeth Kissane, was born at 11:23 a.m. on Aug. 29, 2015 at 9 pounds, 2.5 ounces and 21.5 inches long. We live in Queensbury, N.Y. Although her arrival made us miss our annual tradition of attending the Travers Stakes, it was the happiest day of our lives.”


| 55


Alumni attend the wedding of Tara and Todd Buffum ’07

2005 Liz Pulice married J.J. Tracy Aug. 22, 2015 in Watertown, Mass. Union alumni in attendance included Rebecca (Riggs) Rodriguez, Pamela (Koncius) Long, Noah and Lia Kayman ’06. The couple lives in Waltham, Mass.


Liz Pulice ’05 and J.J. Tracy

1975 Gregg Levine and Dr. Howard Epstein were married Nov. 28, 2015, at the Intercontinental Cleveland. The couple, long involved in the Cleveland Jewish community and the national LGBT equality movement, officially got married under the chupah in their home state of Ohio on their 30th anniversary. The couple 56 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

was married by Rabbi Edward J. Sukol of the Shul in Pepper Pike. Gregg is the interim executive director of HillelOberlin College and a career transition consultant at Ratliff and Taylor. Howard is a rheumatologist at Cleveland Clinic and assistant medical director of Cleveland Clinic employee health plan. The couple previously honeymooned in Israel. They reside in Pepper Pike.

Elizabeth Colbert Mazzotta and Patton Luther Johnson were married June 20, 2015 at the lake home of her parents in Parishville, N.Y. The Rev. Shaun Whitehead officiated. Elizabeth holds master’s degrees from Columbia University and will graduate with a Ph.D. in August from the University of Denver (Colo.). She provides mental health services at Stanford (Calif.) University. Patton graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.,

with a bachelor’s degree in finance, and is completing his law degree at the University of California Hastings College Of Law, San Francisco, Calif. Tara and Todd Buffum were married July 11, 2015 in Brewster, Mass. (Cape Cod). They write, “We had a great Union turnout, mostly ’07 but also some ’08 (18 Union grads in total).” They reside in Jamaica Plain, Mass.

2008 Jenna Monaster and Scott Morlando were married Aug. 31, 2014 at the St. Julien Hotel in Boulder, Colo. Alumni in attendance included Allison (Lacoff) Aspis, Ilya Aspis, Alyse Sherwin, Andy Laccetti, Eric Marx, Matt Smith, Matthew Wentworth and Dana (Cohen) Bernstein. Liza (Turkel) Brush and Jesse Brush were married

Alumni attend the wedding of Jenna Monaster ’08 and Scott Morlando ’08

Alumni attend the wedding of Liza (Turkel) Brush ’08 and Jesse Brush (by Fred Marcus Photography)

Alumni attend the wedding of Rachel Biegelman ’12 and Daniel Lust ’10

on Nov. 15, 2015 at the Ritz-Carlton, Battery Park, in New York City. Alumni in attendance included Lisa (Sharp) Weintraub, Alex Weintraub, Meryl Goldstein, Jordan (Reardon) Flynn, Karla (Gunther) Sullivan, Elizabeth Peabody, Wendy Luks, Jessica Goldberg and Emily Klug ’03.

2010 Rachel Biegelman ’12 and Daniel Lust were married on Oct. 3, 2015 at Metropolis Country Club in White Plains, N.Y. Daniel writes, “We met at Union in 2008 and have been dating ever since, just over 7 years by the time we were married. Rachel works in

publishing for Simon and Schuster and I am an attorney for the law firm of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker. We are living on the Upper West Side.” Daniel’s parents, Marc Lust ’73 and Lois Brustman Lust ’75, are also alumni. Other alumni in attendance included Lalia Ohebshalm ’14, Olivia

Grubman ’11, Dan Quinn, Debbie Stein ’75, Dan Bloomstone, Kevin Janson ’15, Alex Frank ’14, Greg Jaffe, Jessica Jaffe ’09, Will Friedman, Nick Blanchard, Brian Karimi ’12, Brandon Muller, Alex Stone ’12, Eric Tischler ’11, Tess Koman ’13, Mike Dolinger, Nancy Kessler Karotkin ’74 and Steve Karotkin ’73.


| 57

in memoriam

1930s Dr. Clarence E. Gingras ’39, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dentistry and served as a captain in the U.S. Army Dental Corps during World War II before practicing dentistry in West Palm Beach for 40 years, Nov. 3, 2015. On the staff of Good Samaritan and St. Mary’s hospitals, Clarence was past president of the Palm Beach County Dental Society and a founding member of St. John Fisher and St. Paul of the Cross Catholic churches. A dedicated deep water sailor, he was 99.

1940s Dr. Chester H. Robinson ’40, of Saint Petersburg, Fla., who earned a doctor of philosophy in higher education from Stanford University, served in the U.S. Navy as a command blimp pilot and worked at Stanford University, Miami University and Hunter College before spending many years as dean of the School of General Studies at Herbert Lehman College, City University of New York, Feb. 11, 2016. Chester, who was a longtime Annual Fund head agent for his class, was 97. Angus T. Morrison ’42, of Minneapolis, Minn., who graduated from Yale University and served with the U.S. Navy during World War II, earning commendations that include two distinguished flying crosses, before becoming an executive with the Minnesota and Ontario Paper Company, Feb. 13, 2016. Angus, who later became a partner with investment firm Paine,

58 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

Webber, and was active in many community organizations, was 97. Frank E. Kruesi Jr. ’44, of Meridian, Idaho, who served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in World War II and was a nuclear physicist at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington, Savannah River Plant (S.C.) and the Atomic Energy Division of DuPont (Del.), Feb. 19, 2016. Also directorate of regulatory operations at the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and a fellow of the American Nuclear Society, Frank served on an advisory committee for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations in retirement. An avid outdoorsman with activities including soaring, hiking and skiing, he was 94. Dr. Martin C. Wilbur ’45, of Nacogdoches, Texas, who retired as a Navy captain (1940–70) before joining the faculty and practicing orthopedic surgery at UTMB Galveston, Oct. 28, 2015. After he and his wife, Becky, moved to Nacogdoches, Martin was active in amateur radio and studied computer science at SFA to pursue a hobby in artificial intelligence programming. Martin, who loved music, studying languages, a good cabernet sauvignon and SFA Ladyjack basketball, was 93. Malcolm D. Horton ’45, of Schenectady, N.Y., who spent 48 years with General Electric as a systems application engineer and first attended, then taught, in GE’s advanced engineering program, Nov. 4, 2015. Mal, who was named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 1996, served as a consultant after retirement,



eymour L. “Cy” Meisel ’44, former Union College trustee and vice president of research at Mobil Oil, died Dec. 28, 2015 at his home in Princeton, N.J. He was 93. Cy, who was born in Albany, N.Y., served in the U.S. Navy in 1944 and held a bachelor’s in chemistry from Union. He also earned a master’s in chemistry and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, and put his skills to good use as a research chemist when he joined Mobil in 1947. From 1968 to 1987, Cy served as vice president of research, directing all of Mobil’s corporate research at three laboratory locations in New Jersey and Texas. He also had functional responsibility for Mobil’s overseas laboratories in England, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. Under his leadership, Mobil research invented a process that increased the yield of gasoline from a barrel of crude oil by over 40 percent. An active member of numerous scientific organizations, Cy received the American Chemical Society’s Leo Friend Chemical Technology Award and Italy’s Dante Alighieri Society Award. He authored two books, along with 30 publications and patents, and he presented over 50 papers. When he retired, he became membership chairman of the National Academy of Engineering. Dedicated to his community, Cy was also a board member of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, McCarter Theatre, the Nassau Club, and Princeton United Jewish Appeal. He was president of the Board of the Friends of Princeton University Art Museum and a member of the Friends of the Institute for Advanced Studies. Cy was an equally dedicated alumnus. He generously supported Union for many decades and was Charter member of Trustee Board of Advisors and was its chairman from 1986-1994, and a member of the Board of Trustees during those years. He had also donated his time as class treasurer, was a member of the Ramee Circle and regularly attended presidential reception events in New York City. Cy was awarded the Alumni Gold Medal in 2009 for his service to the College. He is survived by Jackie, his wife of 69 years, and his three sons, Mark, Alan (Barbara), and Neil (Ann). A family with strong Union bonds, Mark is member of the Class of 1969; Alan the Class of 1971 and Neil the Class of 1974.


and was a member of many community organizations, including the Elfun Society and the Schenectady County Historical Society, was 92.

baseball and was devoted to his family, was 94.

Dr. William H. Eger ’45, of Boston, Mass., who served in the U.S. Army during World War II and the Korean War, and earned a medical degree from Boston University, before become a psychiatrist who consulted, taught and practiced at numerous Boston area hospitals and clinics, Jan. 1, 2016. William, who also had a private practice in Boston and Newton, and was an assistant in psychiatry at Harvard University Medical School and assistant professor of child psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, was 92.

Ralph H. Petrucci ’50, of San Bernardino, Calif., a founding faculty member at California State College at San Bernardino (now California State University, San Bernardino) who served as professor of chemistry, chair of the Natural Sciences Division and dean of academic planning, Nov. 4, 2015. Ralph, also the author of the successful textbook, General Chemistry, earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He was 85.

John J. Flax ’47, of Pompano Beach, Fla., Dec. 3, 2015. He was 90. Milton A. Klarsfeld ’47, of Queensbury, N.Y., who served as a navigator with the 15th Air Force during World War II, became a prisoner of war in northern Germany, and earned several medals and the Purple Heart, Jan. 1, 2016. Milton, who opened Albany Television Headquarters and grew the company into Audio-Video Corporation, and who was a jazz music enthusiast and lover of fast cars, was 93. Peter J. Manzo ’48, of East Moline, Ill., who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and received many decorations, including the World War II Victory Medal and the American Campaign Medal, before retiring from Army Weapons Command at Rock Island Arsenal as comptroller and director of programs, Dec. 7, 2015. Peter, who loved



Dr. Thomas E. Ryan ’50, of Seattle, Wash., who served as an Army captain in Germany, attended medical school at Georgetown University, Oct. 7, 2015. The first anesthesiologist in Macomb County (outside Detroit), he established many programs and procedures, including CPR classes, emergency response protocols and an ICU. Thomas, who enjoyed golfing, had a sophisticated wine collection and was a generous supporter of the arts, was 86. David B. Strauss Jr. ’50, of Aventura, Fla., Sept. 14, 2015. He was 86. David Hurst Robinson ’50, of Lebanon, N.H., a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Navy and started his career with Mohawk Carpet Mills before joining Albany Felt Company and then concluding his career as a senior account executive with Pitney-Bowes, Dec. 26, 2015. Dave, who traveled widely with his wife to Alaska, Scandinavia, India and Kenya, and who was a member the


illiam G. Burns ’54 of Lake Wales, Fla., past chairman of the Board of Trustees and a life trustee of the College, died Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. He was 83. He retired from NYNEX, where he was vice chairman and a director. As an undergraduate, he was a member of Student Council, president of the Newman Club, member of the track team, and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. As an alumnus, he was president of the Albany Alumni Club, head agent for the Annual Fund, class ReUnion chairman, and president of the Class of 1954. He was a member of the Campaign for Union’s national committee, and chairman of the Bicentennial Campaign. Appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1979, he served as vice chairman in 1985, and chairman from 1986 to 1990. He received the College’s Founder’s Medal during the Bicentennial celebration in 1995. The medal is awarded on special occasions to recognize unusual and distinguished service. He served on various boards including New York Life Insurance Company, Gregorian University Foundation, Bok Tower Gardens, Winter Haven Hospital and its foundation. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Margaret; and five children including a son, Paul Brian Burns ’78, and a daughter, Eileen (Burns) Perez ’82. He was predeceased by his daughter, Patricia (Burns) Molloy ’78.

^ Spring 2016 UNION COLLEGE

| 59

in memoriam

Mendelssohn Club of Albany for more than 40 years, was 89. Robert W. Hamre ’50, of Lillian, Ala., who served in the armed forces, Feb. 2, 2015. He was 88. Clark E. “Nick” Braden ’50, of St. Petersburg, Fla., who served with the U.S. Navy during World War II, was proud of his participation in an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., and worked for many years in real estate as a broker before opening Braden Appraisals, Feb. 28, 2016. A past president of the Austin Lions Club (Minn.) and member of the Elks Lodge, Austin Country Club and a volunteer with Egmont Key Alliance, he was 89. Daniel D. Mead ’50, of Silverthorne, Colo., who served in the National Guard, graduated from Albany Law School and worked with the firm Clayman, Mead and Gallo (Schenectady, N.Y.), Feb. 20, 2016. A member of many organizations, including the Mohawk Club (Schenectady) and USSA (United States Ski and Snowboard Association), Daniel participated in Masters Ski Racing in Europe and the U.S. An accomplished technical rock climber, and a member of Psi Upsilon fraternity and 4-year letter man in swimming at Union, he was 87. Bernard Mushinsky ’51, of New York, N.Y., June 23, 2015. He was 85. Dr. Alfred W. Meneely ’51, of the Villages, Fla., who graduated from New York Medical College and was a captain in the U.S. Air Force before spending 36 years as a pediatrician in Harrisburg, Penn., Feb. 21, 2016. Alfred, 60 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

who served as director of the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic and was a physician advisor for the Central Penn. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, worked for KEYPRO and Pinnacle Health after retiring from pediatrics. An avid chef, he was 86. James W. Hogan ’53, of Murrells Inlet (Woodlake Village), S.C., who earned a mechanical engineering degree from Union, and loved bowling, baseball, reading, bridge and writing poetry, Sept. 13, 2015. He was 84. Rev. Jan C. Walker ’53, of Breinigsville, Penn., who was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, graduated from Philadelphia Seminary and served as chaplain in the U.S. Air Force, Oct. 18, 2015. Jan, who also served at St. John’s in Melrose Park (Penn.) and Holy Trinity in Akron, Ohio, and as assistant to the bishop of Northeast Pennsylvania Synod, was 84. David L. Martin ’57, of Danbury and formerly of Ridgefield, Conn., who worked as a technical writer for the DuPont Company and later for J.C. Penney, and who supported SPHERE, an organization for people with disabilities, Nov. 11, 2015. A member of the Ridgefield Chorale who owned numerous antique automobiles that he showed at many car shows, he was 81. Gary J. Bonk ’57, of Schenectady, N.Y., who earned a master’s in electrical engineering from Union and joined Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in 1959 before returning to GE’s Schenectady plant as a nuclear liaison application engineer, Oct. 20, 2015. Active in the community, he was fire commissioner of

the Carman Fire Department for 40 years. Gary, who had an affinity for cutting-edge technology, was 84. Rev. Stuart Stiles ’57, of Howells, N.Y., who had been pastor for the United Church of Christ for 53 years, serving the last 25 at New Vernon, and who taught psychology at Orange County Community College for 33 years, where he was professor emeritus, Sept. 12, 2015. Active in the community, Stuart was Chaplin for the Howells Fire Department and a member of the fire police. He was 80. Dr. Martin S. Nachbar ’58, of New York, N.Y., who pioneered the field of educational informatics at NYU School of Medicine with the creation of the Hippocrates Project, and who founded the Literature, Arts and Medicine Database (the largest medical humanities website in the world) with his wife, May 16, 2015. Martin, who received numerous prizes in recognition of his contributions to medicine and teaching, including the master teacher award from NYU, became director emeritus of the school’s Division of Education Informatics in 2009. He was 78. Richard T. Steinbrenner ’58, of Raritan, N.J., who spent 40 years at Bell Laboratories, earned a master’s in mechanical engineering from New York University, was named on several patents and worked on technology projects involving sonar and signal processing systems, Jan. 22, 2016. The author of The American Locomotive Company: A Centennial Remembrance and chairman of the board of the ALCO Historical & Technical Society, he was 79.

Dr. Eugene Cacciamani ’58, of Potomac, Md., who held M.E.E. and Ph.D. degrees from Catholic University, served in the United States Air Force and dedicated 30 years to developing patents for technologies and systems critical to the satellite and telecommunications industry, Feb. 24, 2016. He was a co-founder of American Satellite Corporation, president/CEO of MA/-COMNET and senior vice president of Hughes Network Systems (HNS) prior to serving on Engineering Advisory Boards for Union College, Catholic University and several communications corporations. An avid skier and tennis player, he was 79. Frank H. Crum ’59, of Tampa, Fla., who worked as a hydrogeologist for Leggette, Brashears & Graham until retiring in 1997, Sept. 18, 2015. A devoted father and friend who enjoyed a funny anecdote, a glass of Jim Beam and golfing, he was 77.

1960s Arthur H. Judelsohn ’60, of Buffalo, N.Y., an accomplished real estate broker who joined Berlow Real Estate in the early 1970s, eventually becoming president, and who stayed on as senior executive director when the firm merged with Pyramid Brokerage Company, Jan. 3, 2016. An avid golfer active in many professional organizations and the former director of the Building Owners and Managers Association, he was 76. Charles F. Ott ’60, of New Paltz, N.Y., an avid bridge player who served as a navigator in the U.S. Air Force before and


during Vietnam, and who taught physics at Poughkeepsie High School before spending 35 years as a labor relations specialist with NYSUT, Jan. 22, 2016. He was 78. John K. Cassidy ’61, of Johnstown, N.Y., who spent 41 years with General Electric, was an official in the American Society for Quality Control (Albany chapter), participated in the MTP program, was a communicant of Sacred Heart Church, and a member of the Holy Name Society, Feb. 15, 2016. Jack, who taught religious education for 25 years and was founder and president of the Fonda-Fultonville Alumni Association, was 79. Dean. C. Rohrer ’62, of New York, N.Y., a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School who was an attorney at Pillsbury Winthrop and Simpson Thacher, and was assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district of N.Y., Nov. 5, 2015. Dean, who retired after serving as vice president and assistant general counsel at GTE, and who sailed over 30,000 miles, racing all over the world, was 75. Howard F. Jacobson ’62, of Schenectady, N.Y., a civil engineer with the New York State Department of Transportation for 34 years who, after retirement, was an engineer for Vollmer Associates, Sept. 24, 2015. An avid hunter and long-time member of the Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church who, with his wife, headed the Guilderland Interfaith Council Food Pantry for seven years, Howard was 77. Paul M. Baltay ’62, of Gaithersburg, Md., Sept. 21, 2015. He was 75.


ois Ann Bing, an administrative assistant who for four decades made the mathematics department a welcoming second home for students and faculty, died Dec. 20, 2015. She was 94. Colleagues recalled her warmth and friendship, which extended for many years after her retirement in 2002 when she continued to socialize with them, meeting for monthly luncheons, attending plays, golfing and cycling. Colleagues recall that she got serious about cycling well into her 60s, and did many bike trips throughout the U.S. and Europe. She continued cycling into her late 80s. Julius Barbanel, professor of mathematics emeritus, recalled her as a “warm, welcoming and smart presence” who went out of her way to welcome faculty to the department. “Union has been a great place to work all of these years,” he recalled, “but whenever things weren't quite perfect … I would go and talk with Lois. She always made me feel better.” “Lois had the rare gift of making everyone feel good about themselves” said William Zwicker, the William D. Williams Professor of Mathematics. “That’s one reason why Union students and faculty came to think of the mathematics department as a comfortable second home.”

“To come in every morning for over 20 years and talk with her to start my day was one of the true pleasures and gifts of my life,” said Prof. Kimmo Rosenthal. Karl Zimmermann, professor of mathematics emeritus, recalls that she was unfazed by any new project. In her late 70s, she learned a new mathematical typesetting software package, he said. “Lois retired at age 80 while I was chair of the department,” Zimmermann said. “I have always appreciated that she waited until I had a feel for the job before taking that step.” On her retirement, the department dedicated the lobby as the Bing Room, where a plaque reads: "Her devotion and unfailing grace inspired us all." Born in Niskayuna, she was raised in West Glenville and graduated from Amsterdam High School. She and her late husband, John, were married for 48 years. Survivors include three children, John Bing, Barbara Carlson and Carol McGlauflin, a technical services specialist in Schaffer Library. Memorial contributions may be made to the Lois Bing Fund in support of student scholarship at Union College, Office of College Relations, Abbe Hall, 807 Union Street, Schenectady, New York, 12308; or a charity of your choice.

^ Spring 2016 UNION COLLEGE

| 61

in memoriam

Phillip S. Arensberg ’64, of Siasconset, Mass., who graduated from Albany Law School, was managing partner of McClung, Peters and Simon (Albany, N.Y.) and became an avid tennis player at the Siasconset Casino, Sept. 6, 2015. Known for his marvelous dinner parties, Phillip traveled widely, spending winters in Italy, Mexico, Spain, France and other locations. He was 73. Robert A. Baluch ’65, of Harrisburg, N.C., Feb. 1, 2015. He was 71. Richard “Dick” Sidlauscus ’67, of Plainville, N.Y., who had a lengthy career in IT project management, mostly with the Hartford, and was an award-winning photographer whose work was exhibited and sold throughout the state, Nov. 12, 2015. A parishioner of Our Lady of Mercy Church, he was 71. William A. Kern ’69, of Pleasant Valley, N.Y., who was an electrical engineer with IBM for 30 years and who owned the Dutchman Laundromat for many years, Feb. 8, 2016. A member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and integral to organizing the annual Pleasant Valley Weekend, he was 72.

1970s John. H. Steenburgh ’73, of the Villages, Fla., who was an engineer with General Electric for 38 years in its large steam turbine division and served the local community in many capacities, including as member of the Perth Central School and Broadalbin-Perth Central School boards (N.Y.), and as a Little League baseball coach, 62 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

P R O F. E D W I N G I L L E T T E

Feb. 15, 2016. Also a member of the Lynnhaven Neighbors and the Irish American Club in Florida, he was 73. Anthony J. O’Connor ’76, of Schenectady, N.Y., who spent 20 years teaching at St. Gregory’s School for Boys in Loudonville, where he coached soccer and basketball, and who worked in Schenectady and Colonie Central School Districts for 15 years, Nov. 11, 2015. A diehard fan of the Yankees, Celtics and Fighting Irish who enjoyed reading history and playing golf, he was 62.

1980s Anthony F. Piotrowski Jr. ’83, of Hartford, Conn., who held two master’s degrees, including an M.B.A. from Pace University, and was a systems engineer for several Hartford insurance companies, Dec. 19, 2015. He was 55.

1990s Evan L. Morris ’99, of Alexandria, Va., July 9, 2015. He was 38.

2000s Mark J. Morris ’05, of Schenectady, N.Y., a senior scientist at Base Pair Biotechnologies who held an M.S. in chemistry from SUNY Buffalo and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Kent State University, Nov. 11, 2015. Mark, who had a quirky sense of humor and loved to enjoy a beer and a good steak with friends, was 33.


dwin F. Gillette, professor of mathematics emeritus, who taught at Union full-time for 27 years, died on March 4, 2016 at the age of 99. Prof. Gillette, who retired in 1981, taught as an adjunct professor until 1997. Born and raised in Branford, Conn., he graduated from Hamilton College and earned a master’s and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Syracuse University. He taught a total of 45 years on the faculties of Middlebury College, Williams College, Syracuse University and Union. At Union , he directed the summer in-service Institute for high school teachers, a program of the College and the National Science Foundation. He served as acting department chair in 1973-74. He enjoyed his family and playing golf and tennis. His late wife, Barbara Kitson Gillette, was a pianist, organist and teacher. The couple, who met at Middlebury College, were married for 69 years when she died in 2011. They were long-standing members of Saint George’s Episcopal Church in Schenectady. He is survived by two sons, Stephen of Simi Valley, Calif., and Michael of Tenafly, N.J.; four grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be Saturday, March 12, 2016, at 1 p.m. at Jones Funeral Home, 1503 Union Street (at McClellan St.) in Schenectady. Memorial contributions may be made to Ellis Hospital, 1101 Nott St., Schenectady, New York 12308.


P R O F. J O H N F. B OY E R

Friends of Union College Cathy Georgelas, of Scotia, N.Y., who started her career at Union College with Dining Services in 1997 before moving to the mailroom in 2005, Dec. 8, 2015. A warm and positive person, she was 55.


ohn F. Boyer, professor emeritus of biology whose wide interests ranged to typography, art and music, died Jan. 20, 2016, after a long battle with cancer. He was 74. Prof. Boyer came to Union in 1973, the same year that his wife, Barbara, joined the department. The couple, who were married in 1968, retired together in 2010 as full professors. A population and evolutionary biologist, his research covered evolution in agestructured populations, genetic models of co-evolution, evolution of mating behavior polymorphisms and computer simulation of population dynamics. He taught courses in genetics and evolution, evolutionary biology, population biology and freshman preceptorial. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College, and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He did postdoctoral research at the University of Iowa. While at Union, he did sabbatical research at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., and at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. He was published in a number of journals including Journal of Theoretical Biology, Evolution, Journal of Animal Ecology, Physiological Zoology and

Biological Bulletin. He was a member of professional societies including the Society for the Study of Evolution, American Society of Naturalists, Ecological Society of America, International Society for Behavioral Ecology, European Society of Evolutionary Biology and Sigma Xi. Active in College service, he was department co-chair, a long-time member of the Academic Computing Steering Committee, and served on numerous tenure and reappointment committees. He co-authored a successful grant proposal to the Merck Company Foundation for support of student research to encourage graduate education in biology and chemistry. He had a number of non-scientific interests which caused some to call him “a Renaissance man,” his wife said. He had a passion for cartography and typography. He was a member of the American Printing History Association. He loved many forms of art and music, which filled the Boyer home. Survivors also include the Boyers’ two children, Cynthia and Paul; and two grandchildren, Elliott and Catherine. A celebration of his life is planned for the spring.

Donald J. Smith Sr., of Clifton Park, N.Y., who served in the U.S. Army at Fort Dix, West Point and Panama during the Korean War and held positions at Union College [need to confirm employment here], Colt & Dumont, Allstars Academy and Barney Road Golf Course, Dec. 11, 2015. Smitty, who loved books, especially of history and World War II, was 87.

^ Spring 2016 UNION COLLEGE

| 63

For Flyers, Gostisbehere is the name of the game BY PHIL WAJDA


wo years after a Frozen Four for the ages, when he helped lead Union to the 2014 Division 1 men’s ice hockey championship, Shayne Gostisbehere ’15 is a bonafide NHL phenomenon. In his first full season with the Philadelphia Flyers, the speedy skater known as Ghost set an NHL record for most points in consecutive games by a rookie defenseman with 15 and a franchise-record 16 goals by a rookie defenseman. Each of his 16 goals tied the game, gave the Flyers the lead or was the game-winner (four). His electrifying play helped the Flyers make the playoffs and put him in contention for the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. The team honored Gostisbehere with its Barry Ashbee award, presented annually to the outstanding defenseman, and the Gene Hart Memorial award, given to the Flyer who demonstrates the most heart. Ghost also became a folk hero in Philly, a tough sports town stingy with praise for its athletes. Gostisbehere jerseys

Rick Bennett, left, head coach of men's ice hockey, meets Shane Gostibehere '15 after a Flyers win 64 | UNION COLLEGE Spring 2016

were easy to spot in the Wells Fargo Center, coincidentally the same arena where the Dutchmen routed Minnesota 7-4 to win the national championship. And while fans often mangled his last name, Ghost-Bear emoticons took off on Twitter. His magical season made him almost as popular in Philadelphia as the Rocky statue. Sports Illustrated, ESPN, the New York Times and USA Today all did major features on the 23-year-old from Florida, whose first season after leaving Union was cut short after seven games because of a torn ACL. “It’s been pretty special,” he said after a late-season home game against Ottawa where dozens of alumni showed up. “It’s been the dream of every kid whoever laced up skates, to play hockey in the NHL. Sometimes you can’t believe you’re doing it.” That game also featured a postgame reunion between Gostisbehere and his Union coach, Rick Bennett. Gostisbehere’s time at Union helped with his transition to the NHL. “I learned a lot of things on the ice, but most important were the life lessons off the ice,” he said. “Coach Bennett recruits for character. He’s not just looking at the player himself, but the family. The way they do things at Union, there’s a reason we won the national title.” “You could argue that no player has meant more to the Flyers this season than Gostisbehere,” said Sam

Carchidi, who has covered the Flyers for the past eight years for the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He has had an uncanny ability to score or set up a pivotal goal, and he has jump-started a team that seemed dead in the water before he arrived (Nov. 14). He has played with infectious enthusiasm and given the team a bonafide scoring threat, and his confident nature has spread to his teammates. To me, Gostisbehere and Claude Giroux have been the team’s MVPs.” Despite his quick skate to stardom and the perks that come with being a professional athlete, Gostisbehere insists it won’t go to his head. His time at Union will help make sure of that.

“You always remember your roots,” he said. “That’s what my mom told me. And I always will.”

Gostisbehere is one of a number of former Dutchmen playing hockey professionally. These include NHLers Daniel Carr ’14 (Montreal Canadiens), Keith Kinkaid ’13 (New Jersey Devils) and Josh Jooris ’14 (Calgary Flames); and AHLers Troy Grosenick ’14 (San Jose Barracuda), Mat Bodie ’14 (Hartford Wolf Pack), Max Novak ’15 (Albany Devils), Wayne Simpson ’13 (Portland Pirates) and Jeremy Welsh ’13 (Chicago Wolves). Of that group, only Gostisbehere has a Lego-like figurine, a popular item in the Flyers’ merchandise stands.

COUPLE GIVES BACK WITH CHARITABLE REMAINDER TRUST Col. Rettig P. Benedict Jr. ’64 (USAF, retired) and his wife, Michele, are at that age when the number 50 becomes significant: They recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and Rett’s 50th ReUnion, by informing Union that the College is a beneficiary of their charitable remainder trust, as well as a recipient of a gift in Rett’s will. Both will further support the scholarship they have already endowed at Union. “I believe in the combination of liberal arts with engineering/science that Union offers,” Rett said. He and Michele have also given generous annual and major gifts to the renovation of the Nott Memorial, the arts/music building in 2005 and the Peter Irving Wold Center for Science & Engineering in 2010. Rett majored in physics at Union, joined the Air Force and later went on to graduate school for a master’s and Ph.D. in physics at the Air Force Institute of Technology. He then worked in directed energy (high energy lasers) and space defense, first for the Air Force and then for a private firm for which he still does some consulting. The Benedicts say that setting up the charitable trust was easier than they thought. “We were looking at our overall estate—what we wanted to provide for our family and the impact of estate taxes.” Rett added,

“The more we thought about it, the more we liked the idea of a charitable remainder trust. We could start with a reasonable amount and with good management and some luck, watch the investments grow over the years to provide more for the eventual recipients. Plus it provides income to us while we are alive. Having good leadership at Union was also important to our decision.” Rett and Michele (an artist, art teacher and author) live in Tucson, Ariz. They have a daughter and two grandchildren and love to travel, including coming back to Schenectady every few years for ReUnions or to meet recipients of the Rett & Michele Benedict Endowed Scholarship and enjoy the Steinmetz Symposium. “We had a great time at the 50th ReUnion,” Michele said. “They do those up big.” The Benedicts, who are members of the Ramée Circle, Union’s gift planning society, also recently talked with President Stephen C. Ainlay at a Union party in Tucson. In discussing the trust, Rett said, “When we were trying to decide where we wanted to focus our giving, education seemed like a natural. I got a very good education at Union, and we want to help others have the same opportunity.”


founded 1795

Jacqueline Cavalier, Director, Gift Planning (518) 388-6156 (direct) (888) 843-4365 ext. 6156 (toll free) cavaliej@union.edu www.union.plannedgifts.org

Office of Communications 807 Union Street Schenectady, NY 12308-3169

Please recycle


Homecoming 2016 & Family Weekend


• Meet faculty, staff, and alumni and explore Union with our students. • Meet other parents and students at the first-year parents reception. • Enjoy great food, live music, face painting, and other fun activities at the pre-game tailgate picnic.


• Compete in the pumpkin-carving competition, and vote for your favorite pumpkin at the picnic! • Listen to faculty lectures or sit in on a class • Stay tuned for more events—Registration opens September 1st!

Visit www.union.edu/hfw for more information.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.